Maize Corn Imports at almost 2M/T

The London LIFFE wheat future for May 2014 closed at £151.70/T on Friday evening (20th May) – £9.75/T lower than the week previous and one of the biggest weekly losses on old crop wheat since last harvest.

In opening trade this morning, old crop wheat values have retreated a further £0.70/T to £151/T. It will be interesting to see this week if the old crop London wheat future for the front month will fall below the benchmark £150/T position – we haven’t seen spot wheat fall below this mark all season.


As for physical ex-farm trade against the screen, end-users have remained extremely quiet on the feed wheat front this week and rightly so judging by the trade screen. Offers in this morning for spot collection are in the region of £153/T ex-farm – around £15/T lower since the beginning of the month. Further forward, June/July collection is offering a very small premium – for those of you looking to tidy up the final bits left in the shed, I would secure the movement whilst it’s available.

Once again there is very little pressure for buyers to extend their cover into the summer months at the minute and their “hands off” approach whilst the price gap between old and new crop values narrow appears to be paying off. The continuation of large wheat and maize corn imports, as confirmed by the latest import/export data from HMR&C towards the end of last week are at least for now preventing any need for the typical end of season price rally that we can often see come June.


The latest data from HMR&C takes us as far as March; the ninth month in the current 2013-14 trading season. According to the HGCA (please see their website for more on this) 309,000/T of maize corn imports arrived into the country in March taking this season’s cumulative total from July-March to a huge 1.92M/T more than 50% higher than the same period in the previous 2012-2013 season.

Wheat imports were also higher than expected with 126,000/T imported throughout March, 54% higher than February’s total the month previous – the trade had anticipated that wheat imports would begin to show signs of decline by now.

As for wheat exports, just 25,000/T of wheat was exported in March, taking the cumulative total so far (Jul-March) to just 353,000/T. According to, 353,000/T represents about 60% of the total wheat exported in the first 9 months of the previous 2012-13 season following the disastrous 2012 harvest. It appears that our lack of export activity post the poor 2012 harvest has continued into this season.


As for new crop values, the London LIFFE wheat future for November 14 closed at £149/T on Friday evening (20th May) – £7.15/T lower than the week previous. In opening trade this morning, the future has further declined, slumping to £146.90/T – a value we haven’t seen since early February this year.


Offers in this morning for as available harvest wheat are currently struggling to make £140/T ex-farm – this currently looks like a more realistic value for September collection. November/December movement would make £145/T ex-farm.


Southern areas of the US plains where drought is currently an issue have received “significant” rainfall over the weekend and more is forecast to arrive over the next couple of days. According to, this weekend’s rain showers have greatly aided the key wheat growing areas of “Nebraska, North Colorado, Kansas and eastern Oklahoma” although they do stress the importance of the further rainfall which is due this week.

As of Sunday evening (18th May), 75% of this year’s intended maize corn acreage is now believed to be in the ground and prospects are “favourable” for the remaining 25% with “mild temperatures and limited showers” forecast for these more Northern areas.


Meanwhile old crop OSR values are currently valued sub £300/T ex-farm with spot collection currently offering £293-5/T ex-farm. Southern areas of the US are beginning to make good progress with this year’s soybean planting and maize corn planting is almost complete with the majority of the intended acreage now in the ground – for those of you with old crop OSR still left in the shed, chances of the US switching some of their acreage from maize corn into soybeans currently looks slim, particularly given the forecast for the week ahead.

The remaining few weeks of the old crop trade will probably follow the volatility demonstrated in the new crop market – the majority of which will be driven by the weather across wider Europe and the US.

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