The Grain Column with Emma Croft

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.
Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.

It has been another mixed week for the grain markets over the last seven days and both old and new crop values are currently edging lower.

The value of the pound against the value of the Euro has marginally rebounded over the last few days, hence the pressure seen on the grain market.

Feed wheat for spot collection is currently valued in the region of £132/T ex-farm while movement into the New Year is offered at £135/T ex-farm.

End-user demand is relatively good at the moment as we are able to sell feed wheat for immediate delivery to various outlets.

According to HMR&C, EU soft wheat export commitments are already 1 million tonnes ahead of last season’s pace, despite overall availability being almost 10% lower than last season.

This is interesting given the current quality concerns surrounding the majority of the European wheat crop – perhaps a larger proportion of crop than we initially thought is meeting the required specification?

As for new crop values, £133/T ex-farm currently looks like a realistic offer for September 2017 collection. £135/T ex-farm was briefly offered towards the end of last week but this was to be short lived.

Feed barley is currently valued at £110/T ex-farm, also for September 2017 collection. £135/T - £140/T appear to be the most popular target figures for many growers who are looking to make a start with marketing next year’s crop. In a rising but volatile market, ‘Target Figures’ are extremely important – don’t miss out on your targeted selling value for the sake of a couple of pound per tonne!

As for OSR values, the old crop market has continued to firm over the last week or so with spot prices currently trading in the region of £350/T ex-farm.

Although the recent rise in OSR values can mainly be attributed to currency fluctuations, a distinct lack of rain in some key European growing regions has sparked concerns for next year’s crop.

Initially, it was believed that due to the attractive prices seen over the last couple of months, we could see a larger than previously thought area drilled with winter OSR.

However, the dry conditions experienced over the last month or so could limit crop potential, off-setting the volume expected.

In other words, there may be a large area in the ground but we could be looking at significantly reduced yields if this dry weather continues. In France, some of the areas intended for OSR simply haven’t been drilled due to dry conditions. In the North, this is as much as 10%.