The Grain column with Emma Croft

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

Feed wheat for spot collection is unchanged once again this week at £140/T ex-farm.

Nearby UK feed wheat futures have remained close to £140/T for nearly two months now and over the last 30 days, we have seen a trading range of just £4.75/T. This is doing little to inspire both buyers and sellers and the grain trade has fallen quiet over the past fortnight as sellers concentrate on putting next year’s crop in the ground.

Meanwhile, the milling trade is beginning to pick up in the short term with buyers looking to extend their cover until the end of the year. As for New Year values, small opportunities keep arising with limited requirements.

Group 1 milling varieties at full specification (13% Protein) are currently valued at £155/T ex-farm for spot collection whilst movement into the New Year is offered at £160/T ex-farm.

Locally, the main problem within this grouping appears to be protein rather than Hagberg as good yields seem to have equated to lower protein levels.

As for low specification Group 1 and 2 varieties (between 11.5% and 12% Protein), the market is currently completely saturated and opportunities are limited.

Varieties such as Skyfall, Lilli and Siskin proved to be extremely popular this harvest and the majority of samples seen would ideally suit a Low specification milling job. For those of you looking to secure a premium, I would suggest considering longer term opportunities.

Both Soft group 3 and 4 varieties alongside some hard group 4 varieties are achieving a £5/T -£7/T premium at the moment for spot collection. However, it is important to remember that milling premiums don’t always follow the fluctuations we often see in the feed market as verbatim.

For example, on days when feed wheat is valued at £143/T ex-farm, soft wheat values may remain firm at the £145/T ex-farm mark, narrowing the premium.

Regardless, samples which test above the required specification are a safe bet and any premium should be seen as a bonus; a £3/T premium equates to almost £100 per lorry load which will soon add up on a shed full.

Looking ahead, the next WASDE report from the USDA is released on Thursday 12 October; this will include the latest US, Russian and European estimates as this year’s Northern Hemisphere harvest draws to a close.

Currently warm weather over in the US is allowing for good harvest progress to be made at the moment so I imagine this will also grab the markets attention over the next few weeks.