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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.

Feed wheat for spot collection is unchanged again this week at £150/T–£152/T ex-farm depending on movement requirements and farm location.

With the two Bank Holidays ahead (one at the beginning of the month and one at the end of the month), end-users appear fairly well organised at the moment and there doesn’t seem to be any last minute requirements.

As for new crop wheat, we have seen some further movement in the long term positions but buyers for the harvest position are limited. Feed wheat for as available collection off the combine at harvest is now valued at £145/T ex-farm. £150/T ex-farm can now be negotiated for pre-Christmas collection.

According to the latest USDA crop progress report (released last week, we should expect another one tomorrow), continued wintery conditions across much of the US has stalled spring crop planting.

As of this time last week, just 3% of the intended spring wheat area was in the ground. On average over the last five years, spring drilling should be around 25% complete by now. “Idaho and Washington are the only states which have made significant progress with spring planting so far. Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota are yet to plant any spring wheat and the challenging conditions prevail”.

AHDB have added that “whilst there is still the potential for planting to catch-up, should these conditions continue for the long term there is the risk that the total area of spring wheat will be reduced, which may impact final US production figures”. Judging by the forecast over the past week I doubt there will have been much improvement.

As for the US winter wheat crop, crop conditions appear to be picking up slightly. 31% of the total crop is now said to be in either a “good or excellent” condition. This remains down from the 44% rated in this condition at this stage last year, but is significantly better than ratings given at the start of spring.

Planting progress for maize corn is also lagging behind with only 5% of the crop in the ground. However, the five year average suggests that around 10% of the crop should be in the ground by now – progress isn’t falling too far behind just yet.

Regardless, the trade is already looking at the possibility of an increase in soybeans and the expense of maize if there challenging conditions continue. If realised, it is likely that soybean prices will feel the pressure, which could then feed through into the global oilseed market generally. For those of you with old crop OSR left in the shed, this should be something to consider.

Perhaps £290/T ex-farm is a more realistic target than £300/T ex-farm? Spot values over the past week have fluctuated between £285/T and £289/T ex-farm.