The grain column with Emma Croft

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.

Emma Croft, farm trader at Anderson Grain Marketing Limited.

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Feed wheat values have slightly rebounded this week as £150/T ex-farm is once again offered for spot collection.

Movement further forward is however limited and the premiums offered are minimal.

Dry weather over in the US, a tightening of UK supplies and continued demand for wheat imports in Egypt have all firmed the market this week.

The Chicago wheat market has gained more than $5 over the last week or so and the European markets appear to be following suit.

As for UK new crop values, £135/T ex-farm is currently being offered for September whilst November collection should achieve a further couple of pounds per tonne.

Driving the market this week is news from DEFRA – their latest supply and demand estimates for the UK suggest that wheat supplies at the end of the season may be tighter than originally envisaged.

The UK wheat balance is now forecast at 3.08M/T compared with a previous estimate of 3.45M/T in December.

After taking into account the operating stocks requirement of 1.60M/T, this leaves an estimated exportable surplus of 1.48M/T (compared with 1.85M/T in December).

The HGCA have added that “the main reason for this change if higher forecast demand from the Human and Industrial Sector”, namely the bio-ethanol sector. If this level of demand continues, we could see a further reduction in the exportable surplus available for the remainder of the season.

Meanwhile, according to the latest ADAS crop report, the vast majority of GB arable crops “have come into spring in good condition”.

They added that “relatively dry and mild conditions during the autumn and winter months allowed initial pesticide applications to be made as planned and there are few weed, pest or disease issues to report at this stage in the season”.

By the end of February, the majority of the winter wheat and barley crops were in good condition and were tillering.

For wheat, black grass levels were lower than expected although there are some occasional dense patches which have eluded control.

For barley, there are few weed, pest or disease issues with both grass and broadleaved weeds under firm control from autumn herbicides.