Markets Volatile as Weather Watching Continues

It has been a rather volatile week for the grain markets this week with both old and new crop values initially edging higher ahead of the Easter weekend before quickly retreating as the trade returned to a four day week.

New crop feed wheat gained more than £6/T throughout the course of last week before opening £5/T lower on Tuesday morning. In ex-farm terms, £150/T is still achievable for as available collection although it doesn’t look as though it would offer much more than this at this stage following further volatility. November movement would make £155/T ex-farm.

Warm weather and plentiful rainfall here in East Yorkshire appears to have given winter crops a new lease of life over these last couple of weeks whilst simultaneously giving newly drilled spring crops a fantastic start. The majority of the UK spring acreage is now believed to be in the ground although their remains ‘significant work to be done’ in the north-west and Scotland.

Over in the US, planting of this year’s maize corn crop continues to be behind schedule although the trade is evidently not feeling overly concerned just yet. Around 6% of the intended acreage is now believed to be in the ground, slightly behind the 15% we would normally expect at this stage.

Growers are believed to be waiting for soil temperatures to improve and also for the arrival for a drier outlook – which does appear to be forecast for much of the south-west later this week.

Much of the trade’s attention will be heavily focused on this over the next couple of weeks; rainfall will need to be finely balanced between benefiting winter wheat crops without causing delay to maize corn planting.

For those of you with old crop wheat still left in the shed, ex-farm values have fluctuated anywhere between £165-172/T ex-farm over the last seven days with current values somewhere in the middle of this spectrum for May collection. Movement further forward into the summer months is only offering a small carry at the minute, £3-4/T at the most for June/July collection.

According to the HGCA, the latest import/export data from HMR&C have confirmed that UK maize imports are beginning to slow. 172,000/T of maize corn arrived in the UK in February – a sharp decline from the 312,000/T that was imported in January.

Regardless, the UK still looks on track to import the 2.01M/T it was forecast at the beginning of the season – 500,000/T more than the previous 2012-2013 season. This could hamper any potential for a last minute price rally towards the end of the season; after all harvest is only 12 weeks away!

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