Week Beginning 1st June

  • The London LIFFE wheat future for July 2015 closed at £110.10/T on Friday evening (29th May) – £2.15/T lower than the week previous. As for new crop wheat values, the London LIFFE wheat future for November 2015 closed at £119.45/T – £3.00/T than the week previous. The recent rally which has been apparent in both old and new crop wheat appeared to stall last week due to a lack of fresh of news.
  • Ex-farm values for old crop feed wheat have been difficult to judge over the last seven days or so due to the expiration of the May contract on the LIFFE trading screen. Delivered values have therefore fluctuated anywhere between £122.00/T – £116.00/T as buyers try to negotiate the market. In opening trade this morning, old crop wheat futures are unchanged.
  • Feed wheat for July collection is valued in the region of £115.00/T ex-farm this morning – for those of you looking to move wheat in June, prices are varied and dependant on farm location. Feed barley values are continuing to trade at a £10.00/T discount to feed wheat.
  • As for new crop values, the London LIFFE wheat future for November 2015 has opened £0.55/T higher at £120.00/T. Consequently, £112.00 – £114.00/T ex-farm currently looks like a realistic feed wheat value for as available collection off the combine at harvest. As for new crop feed barley, values for August are struggling to make £100.00/T ex-farm. Further south, ex-farm values are currently trading in the region of £92.00 – £95.00/T ex-farm.
  • According to the latest European Crop Monitoring report (please see www.hgca.com for more) , ‘winter crops across much of the key exporting areas of Europe continue to be in a good shape and there are no major concerns for spring crops’. However, significant areas of Spain and Italy are experiencing drier than average conditions – this is having a particularly negative impact in Spain where winter crops are starting the grain fill period. ‘Substantial’ rainfall will be needed over the next coming weeks for Spain to achieve ‘satisfactory yields’. Although Spain is not a major player in the European Export market, it is known to be a key importer of UK grains if a shortage is apparent – this could therefore be one to watch throughout the month.
  • Over in France, 80% of the winter wheat there is now headed and 91% of this is said to be in a ‘good to very good’ condition’. Winter barley harvesting could begin in as little as three weeks time given the favourable forecast there.
  • Closer to home, ADAS have released their May edition of the cropping report – please see their website for more. Winter wheat crops are described as being in a ‘good condition and most now have a fully emerged flag leaf’. As for spring crops, drilling is now complete and typical crops now have the second node detectable. Black grass is now visible above crop canopies; highlighting areas requiring spraying and pest pressure is generally low. Typical winter barley crops now have the boots swollen with more forward crops at full ear emergence. Similarly to wheat, ‘broadleaved weeds were well controlled, aided by large crop canopies’. Pest pressure is again low with only occasional crops showing symptoms of Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus.
  • As for OSR crops, most winter crops look to be in a good condition as we head into June. Typical crops are now undergoing pod development with more behind crops at mid-flowering. Weeds are said to be well controlled thanks to an effective combination of ‘appropriate timing of winter herbicides and good crop cover over the winter’. Again pest levels are low with only occasional crops requiring an insecticide for pollen beetle. New crop values are continuing to trade in the region of £240.00/T – £245.00/T ex-farm – the slight strengthening of the pound against the euro over the last week has added further pressure to the new crop market.
  • Russia have made significant progress with spring grain planting over the last ten days or so with 83% of the intended area now in the ground. However, this is still comfortably behind on last year’s progress – 25.7 million hectares is now in the ground, 2 million hectares behind the area which had been planted by this time last year. With favourable weather forecast for the fortnight ahead (a good mix of warm temperatures followed by rainfall) it will be interesting to see how progress continues.

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