Feed Barley Sinks to £100/T

Harvest 2014 is now well underway here in East Yorkshire and as one local farmer quite aptly suggested:

“Nice crop, shame about the price!”

Feed barley samples are continuing to flood the office – and with mixed results. Bushel weights have been generally disappointing with the majority of samples somewhere in the region of 58-63kg/hl. Moisture contents have been mixed, anywhere between 13-18% and it would seem that many had little choice but to start combining towards the end of last week before the weekend’s poor weather arrived.

As for malting samples, early samples are also a mixed bag. Nitrogen contents have been very good with the majority of samples testing under the required 1.80%, but both bushel weights and grain size are letting samples down. Bushel weights have tested anywhere between 60-65kg/hl whilst the content of screenings (grains smaller than the 2.5mm required for malting) is as much as 20% in some samples.

Yields for both malting and feed varieties have however been good with the majority of samples doing anywhere between 2.5-3.5T/Acre. As for ex-farm values, feed barley is currently trading in the region of £100/T ex-farm, depending on both moisture content and movement requirements. Certain winter malting varieties are currently offering a £15-20/T premium to feed barley for as available movement.

As for feed wheat, UK values have also declined this week with spot collection off the combine now trading in the region of £120/T ex-farm. Further forward, £125/T ex-farm looks like a reasonable offer for October/November collection.

Whilst wheat quantity doesn’t appear to be an issue here in Europe, the wet weather over the weekend does appear to be causing some concern regarding quality. “Overcast skies, heavy cloud cover and extensive wet weather” across Southern England, much of France and Northern Germany over the last couple of days could hamper the quality of some wheat’s, particularly milling wheat’s, although a better forecast for the week ahead should limit the damage done.

This year’s European OSR harvest is continuing to gather pace, particularly across Romania, France and Germany where yields “are significantly improved on last year”. Analysts are therefore standing by their initial estimate of a 23M/T European OSR crop this year.

Closer to home, combines are now into winter OSR in the south of England and yields are said to be average – somewhere in the region of 1.45T/Acre (an average yield of 1.45T/Acre across the UK would give us a total crop of 2.5M/T). Initial results here in Yorkshire would suggest something similar although we have only seen maybe a dozen samples through the office so far.

Consequently, OSR values have come under added pressure this week with current values for as available collection off the combine now in the region of £220-225/T ex-farm.

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