Fields of Gold…. Finally.

Combines are finally rolling here in East Yorkshire this week… and so far so good. Although we have little news to play with at this stage, winter barley yields are reported to be at least average with quality said to be good. Further progress is expected to be made this week following on from a rather wet weekend and several days of scattered but heavy showers.

Looking further South, this year’s winter barley harvest is well underway in Cambridgeshire (according to Farmers Weekly) with reports of 7.5T+/Ha crops flooding in. Bushel weights are also believed to be good with many samples between 68-72kg/hl.

As for winter wheat, ‘twitter based’ rumours would suggest that areas of Devon are now combining but this is yet to be confirmed (I believe we had the same scenario two weeks ago with winter barley). I think it’s safe to say that there won’t be any winter wheat cut in our part of the country just yet.

Trade volumes have been fairly thin this week through both a lack of end-user interest and farm-seller reluctance. End-users appear fairly well covered at the minute ahead of what they already predicted would be a late harvest and the continuation of foreign wheat imports appears to be keeping them well stocked for the time being.

5,000/T of new crop Black Sea wheat (most probably Ukrainian) arrived into the Humber towards the end of last week, closely followed by a similar sized shipment of Finish Milling Wheat. Both appear to be destined West for the time being.

I have a feeling that this could become quite a prominent price factor over the next few months. 2012’s disappointing, poor quality wheat crop gave our UK end-users little alternative but to look further afield for an alternative source and whilst buyers did frequent their regulars (Germany, France, Canada etc.), it opened up the door to a whole realm of wheat buying opportunities.

Consequently, rather than pay over the odds for as-available UK wheat, end-users now have the option to import tried and tested foreign new crop wheat until we begin to make some real progress here. It’s a habit they picked up in 2012 which looks set to extend itself into 2013.

Now I am by no means suggesting that at this stage these imports are pressuring values lower, I am merely stating that it certainly has the potential to cap the amount in which values could rise – UK feed wheat ex the farm can only be as expensive as its imported equivalent ex the dock.

Elsewhere OSR values have continued to decline over the last seven days with current values for August movement around the £272-278/T ex-farm mark depending on farm location. Trade volumes are also thin on the OSR front with many farm-sellers opting to deliver crop into store rather than directly into the crush.



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