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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 continues to trade in the region of £150/T ex-farm this week.

Old crop feed barley values are still on the rise with £145/T ex-farm offered for immediate collection.

A premium on this is offered for collection into the early summer – please speak with the office to discuss your requirements.

In retaliation to the 25% steel and 10% aluminium tariffs imposed by the administration of President Trump last month, China have this week announced tariffs of 25% on American pork and eight other goods, as well as 15% tariffs on fruit and 120 types of commodities.

The Chicago grain futures have since traded lower.

UK wheat values are generally firm, underpinned by the ongoing wet weather issues which are frustratingly delaying spring fieldwork.

Locally, the apparent re-opening of Vivergo has encouraged the return of the “Yorkshire premium”; local ex-farm feed wheat values are slightly higher to anywhere else in the country due to high demand. However, ships from the south are currently heading into the Humber, capping price potential.

In other words, Yorkshire feed wheat will only rally as far as a Southern equivalent plus the haulage/shipping costs. The same rule applies for imports from the continent and beyond; UK feed wheat generally will only rally as far as a French/Russian equivalent ex the UK docks.

Over the last few weeks the UK and European market have seen a steep climb in barley prices as supply remains tight. Barley has gained more than £14/T over the past eight weeks, compared to an £8.50/T increase on wheat.

However, last week’s prices saw a slight fall due to a strong pound, as well as the outlook on the US rains that were much needed on very dry areas.

According to Farmers Weekly a UK-based merchant has loaded a 26,500t boat of barley for Algeria (a deal done three months ago) and has said “even if more barley was available now, UK grain was too expensive for the export market”.

Global markets were subdued last week ahead of the USDA’s prospective planting report which was released on Thursday evening.

However, due to the four day Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, the grain market has had a slow start this morning as it takes time to digest the numbers.

This season, the US is expected to be the world’s largest exporter of maize corn and the second largest exporter of both soybeans and wheat.

With almost 75% of next season’s US wheat crop autumn sown and currently in the ground, market attention will remain weather focused on not only how the current conditions are impacting spring drilling progress, but also on how the winter wheat crop is developing.