The Grain Column with Emma Croft

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

The UK wheat market has edged lower once again.

News that wheat exports have had a slow start this season alongside the rumours that Hull’s bio-ethanol plant Vivergo will in fact close tonight, six weeks ahead of its planned closure, have added pressure to ex-farm values.

Feed wheat for spot collection is currently valued in the region of £140/T ex-farm for movement pre-Christmas.

For those who are flexible on collection before the end of the year, slightly more than this is being offered – please speak to the office for further details.

Looking into the New Year, £142/T-£143/T ex-farm is offered for January collection.

Further forward, May/June collection should offer £145/T+ – again, please speak with the office to discuss your requirements.

As for feed barley, £125/T ex-farm continues to be offered for spot collection while £130/T ex-farm can be negotiated for movement into the New Year.

The UK’s wheat exports struggled during the first quarter of the current 2017/18 trading season (July, August and September 2017), with just 147,200 tonnes shipped abroad.

For comparison, in the first quarter of the 2016/2017 trading season, exports reached 676,300 tonnes.

UK wheat has not been competitive on the European and global markets – this is partly because of currency issues but is also due to higher supplies coming from Russia.

Looking more closely, exports in the first quarter to key UK markets such as Spain and Portugal declined by 74% and 89% respectively.

However, UK heat exports to Spain did show signs of gathering pace towards the end of September – it will be interesting to see if this continues into the second quarter.

As for wheat imports, 419,100 tonnes arrived into the country in the first quarter of the season – this is 2% lower than last season’s quarter and is the lowest figure for six years.

Regardless, French wheat imports to the UK have recovered this season following last year’s poor French harvest.

91,000 tonnes of French wheat arrived in the first quarter, a 200% increase year on year.

1.55 million tonnes worth of wheat is expected to arrive into the country this season, a reduction of 15% on the year due to the estimated larger domestic crop.