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 throughout December has continued to trade at £140/T ex-farm which is remarkable given the recent closure of Hull’s bio-ethanol plant and the recent currency volatility.

Looking ahead, £140/T ex-farm is offered through to April, when another £1/T ex-farm can be negotiated.

This is down to a sheer lack of buyer demand; there have been very few end-user bids over the past week to cover New Year trading positions.

As for milling wheats, full specification Group 1 varieties are currently commanding a £15/T premium but again, growers must be flexible on collection to secure £155/T ex-farm.

Further forward, values are similar – please contact the office to discuss your requirements.

Spring seed sales have picked up over the last couple of weeks again as farmers are finally persuaded to organise their requirements before the end of the year! Several spring barley varieties are now unavailable and spring bean seed is in short supply – for those of you who have not yet secured spring seed I would do so sooner rather than later.

Questions surrounding this season’s Australian harvest have continued to litter the market.

The latest forecast of Australian wheat production released by the Australian Government last week suggests that wheat production is likely to be down 42% on the year at 20.3 million tonnes. Given the exceptional yields achieved last year, a fall in production has come as no great surprise.

However, the trade was not expecting the decline to be as substantial – current forecasts place production forecasts at their lowest level for ten years.

But what impact will this actually have on the global market?

Between 2007/8 and 2016/7 Australian wheat production averaged 24.2 million tonnes.

This highlights that the fall in output between 2016/17 and 2017/18 is less severe than considering the two years in isolation would suggest.

Harvesting of winter wheat in Australia is now underway but has not been without it challenges. Rainfall in recent weeks has led to significant delays and further delays are likely in the coming weeks – the latest forecast suggests above average rainfall throughout

December for New South Wales, a key region for production of premium wheat. Could we therefore see quantity and quality issues?

This will be our last column until next year so may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Thank you once again for reading.