UK Feed Wheat Hits an 18 Month Low

This time last week I reported (much to the farm-sellers dismay) that UK feed wheat values had fallen to a 12 month low. Seven days on – and I apologise in advance for this one; UK feed wheat values are now at their lowest level since January 2012.

November collection is currently offering somewhere around the £150/T ex-farm mark, whilst movement into the New Year would offer a couple of pounds per tonne more. Collection straight off the combine is offering anywhere between £145-150/T ex-farm depending on farm location, moisture content and how quickly you are able to move grain off the farm.

Feed barley is continuing to trade at a £20/T discount to feed wheat for immediate collection although movement further forward is slightly better as feed mills look to extend their new crop cover between now and Christmas. November movement would make somewhere around the £135/T ex-farm mark.

The last of the import / export data for the 2012-13 trading season (which ran from the 1st July 2012 to the 30th June 2013) from HMR&C were finally made available to view online last week. A further 276,000/T of wheat arrived in at UK docks in June as shippers “show no sign of easing the import pace ahead of the then impending harvest”.

With the last of the monthly results in, the final numbers for the entire season were also made available – and they don’t exactly make the most encouraging reading for you farm-sellers.

Throughout the 2012-13 season, the UK imported almost 3M/T of wheat (2.956M/T to be exact) – “the highest level since 1978 and more than three times the amount imported in the previous 2011-12 season”.

It will be interesting to see the data for the first couple of months of the current trading season; will this mass import trend continue until we begin to see some certainty that our wheat quality has recovered or at least improved this year?

Further afield, the grain trade continues to be convinced by a bumper Northern Hemisphere harvest. Western Europe, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan have all made particularly good progress this week with both winter and spring wheats. There are some ‘weather-based rumours’ beginning to develop over in the American plains regarding this season’s potentially record maize corn crop, but there is nothing overly serious to report of at this stage (it could be one to watch though).

Elsewhere, OSR values have shown a slight improvement his week. The US Department of Agriculture last week reduced their production forecast for this year’s soybean crop by almost 5M/T (I wouldn’t get too excited, they are still expecting a crop of more than 96M/T), which has managed to push ex-farm values into the early £280’s/T for September collection. Good Chinese demand is also encouraging values as they make the most of the recent price slump – 1.9M/T of American soybeans destined for China were allegedly bought last week (that’s the largest single week trade we have seen in over 18 months).


HMR&C data – opinions by the HGCA:

Data in Full:


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