The grain column with Emma Croft

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Market Ltd.
Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Market Ltd.

As we head into September and the weather begins to turn notably cooler, I think it’s safe to say that by this time next week there shouldn’t be many cereals left to combine (that’s if the rain finally passes).

Feed wheat for spot collection is currently valued in the region of £138/T ex-farm for spot collection whilst the benchmark £140/T ex-farm is back on the table for November collection.

Feed barley values are also improved this week with October values offered at £125/T ex-farm.

According to information released by DEFRA this week, “sharply smaller” stocks of wheat and barley were held on farms across England and Wales plus at ports, co-ops and merchants in the UK at the end of June 2017 compared to a year earlier. Wheat stocks have fallen by a staggering 48%compared to late June 2016, reflecting the tight supply and demand situation seen last season.

Barley stocks are 33% lower due to a strong domestic demand and a smaller crop harvested last season.

An average to good harvest will therefore be required this season to ease the tightened supply and demand situation and this is yet to be confirmed.

Elsewhere, despite being delayed by wet weather this year, Russia’s wheat harvest is in line with last year with regard to the tonnage harvested by this stage in the season. According to the Russian Agricultural Ministry, yields are currently averaging higher on the year at 4.13 tonnes per hectare compared with 3.4 tonnes per hectare a year earlier.

The Russian wheat crop is forecast to reach a record 78.9 million tonnes this season with exports anticipated to top 32 million tonnes. If realised, this would be 4.6 million tonnes more than the previous record set last season.

Consequently, Russian wheat values have edged marginally lower than their European equivalent in order to secure international demand.

In the latest wheat tender by Egypt, the world’s larges wheat buyer, 235,000 tonnes of Russian wheat was purchased at a fraction cheaper than a French equivalent (two US dollars per tonne to be precise).

It will be interesting to see where European values go from here.

Meanwhile, OSR values have risen to £325/T ex-farm for spot collection this week as Canadian rapeseed production declines. According to data from Statistics Canada, total production is now forecast in the region of 18.2 million tonnes, a significant decline on initial estimates earlier this year.

A weaker pound has also boosted local values and we have seen a great deal of seller interest in these values – please contact the office to discuss your requirements.