The Grain Column with Emma Savage

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

Old crop feed wheat for spot collection has continued to trade in the region of £140/T ex-farm this week.

Buyer interest is minimal in the spot position and isn’t much better for movement into the summer months either. We have however seen some interest in both group 3 and 4 soft wheats at a £5/T premium to feed wheat for April collection.

As for feed barley, £135/T ex-farm is now being offered for spot collection.

New crop feed wheat is also unchanged this week at £140/T ex-farm for harvest collection – this has been a consistent price over the last few trading days despite the fluctuations seen on the screen.

Further forward, movement for the pre-Christmas period is now offered at £145/T ex-farm. This is proving rather popular this morning and with uncertain times ahead, it is perhaps not a bad price to start marketing next year’s crop?

Soybean prices in the US have continued to strengthen this week on the back of ongoing weather concerns in Argentina as most of the major cropping areas still suffering from drought like conditions, having a ‘knock on’ effect within the wider European oilseed market. Regardless, both old and new crop UK OSR values are slightly firmer with spot collection offered at £293/T - £294/T ex-farm.

Elsewhere, the start of 2018 has been significantly milder than usual across much of Europe with daily average temperatures, leaving winter sown crops vulnerable to any sudden changes in temperature – if server frost strikes crops could be at risk of winter kill!

As far as the UK is concerned, temperatures have been slightly colder than usual over the past six weeks or so but if the ‘extremely cold weather’ forecast for the week ahead materialises, we could see winter wheat crops at risk.

Further afield, and according to the latest news from Mike Lee of Agronomy Ukraine, parts of the Black Sea currently have either very little or no insulating snow cover.

He added that “whilst (he) doesn’t think we will see wholesale crop death, we could see a dent in yield prospects which had been running high after a good planting season and easy winter up to this point”.

This will be worth watching this week, particularly given the current pace of wheat exports from Russia at the moment.

Meanwhile the NFU elected their first female president last week as Minette Batters, a beef farmer from Wiltshire. Representing more than 50,000 farmers, she is keen to push British food.

With British farming being in the spotlight like never before, she has highlighted the opportunity to “celebrate our high standards and drive global recognition that British food is quite simply some of the best quality available on our planet today”.