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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 continues to trade in the region of £140/T-£142/T ex-farm this week despite the slight changes to the London LIFFE wheat futures.

Buyer demand is still poor, particularly into the early summer months and therefore a very minimal premium is offered for wheat purchases further forward.

As for new crop feed wheat, £135/T ex-farm for August is beginning to attract some farmer interest; for those of you who depend on quick, harvest movement, this may not be a bad place to start?

An apparent lack of insulating snow cover over in Russia and other Black Sea regions and the subsequent risk of increased winter kill has undoubtedly grabbed the markets attention since the beginning of the year.

However, increased snowfall across both Russia and the Ukraine combined with unreasonably warm temperatures has helped to “alleviate concerns of winter kill and put the region back on track for yet another bumper crop”.

According to Reuters, snow depth in Russia is now around 5-10cm in the key central and Volga regions, with slightly less coverage in southern areas.

With temperatures only forecast to drop to around two to four degrees below normal in the coming week, global market volatility has eased slightly this week.

Regardless, this will be worth keeping an eye on in coming weeks.

With Russia being the world’s largest wheat exporter and Ukraine coming in at the sixth largest, any further changes to the usual weather pattern could bring further marketing opportunities.

The UK OSR market has suffered further volatility this week with prices dropping to around £285/T ex-farm at their lowest.

On the one hand, persistent dry weather in Argentina is rumoured to be “negatively impacting early planted soybeans” which could bring a reduction to overall production there this season.

The HGCA have added that “due to the ongoing dry spell, it is already unlikely that high yields will be achievable, as early planted soybeans are likely to already be in the crucial flowering stage which determines both the size and number of beans formed”.

On the other hand however, the USDA has estimated US soybean production this season at a record 119.5 million tonnes.

Furthermore, Brazilian soybean production in 2017/18 is forecast as the second highest on record, as is the global production figure.

For those of you with old crop OSR left in the shed, it could take more than an Argentinian drought to lift the short term market!

Current values are trading somewhere between £285/T-£290/T ex-farm. Please speak with the office to discuss your requirements.