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Weekly grain and oilseeds market view from Europe, August 28


UK reports of yield and quality remain very mixed.


Russian production was putting pressure on global markets with the majority of it now harvested.


And European oilseeds markets moved higher on the back of concerns about the US soybean crop.


What to watch

It will take time to assess the market and find the way forward for UK markets this season.



UK grain

Wide range of yield and quality

Another week of unsettled weather left the ex-farm trade almost dead.


The range of reports from farmers with regard to yield and quality remains very mixed. There is such a range that trying to estimate a crop number this year will be a real art and one that may never be proven.


Quality of milling wheats seems to be largely holding up – yes there are some low proteins around but generally most will be usable, but there will be some sort of claim instigated for sub-contract specification by the consumers.


The press has flooded the market with talk of bread price rises but seems to forget that grain also feeds livestock and many industrial consumers but alas we see no calls for meat, starch or ethanol price rises.


It will take some time to sort this market out with the current weather frustrating many.


Harvest and then think hard, is probably the best way forward for many but remember that as much as we are an island, we have many port facilities and they import as well as they export.


The first 33,000 tonnes of imported non-EU rapeseed has arrived and once the tap is on and prices work the flow will continue.


Cecilia Pryce, Openfield


Global grain

Black Sea exports pressure world markets

Well over 60% of the Russian wheat crop is now harvested and Russian wheat production estimates have continued to increase, with multiple estimates now in excess of 81m tonnes.


As Russian wheat production is becoming clearer, along with production estimates being higher, Black Sea export competition is maintaining pressure on global wheat markets.


While production in the northern hemisphere is becoming known with a reduced EU crop, average US wheat crop and a larger than expected Russian wheat crop, southern hemisphere production remains uncertain and a source of volatility within the markets going forward.


With the dry conditions in Argentina already leading to cuts in area and production estimates, its wheat area is forecast to be down year on year due to dry conditions.


Combined with increasing chances of a La Nina event, early production estimates are being revised down.


The UK harvest slowed due to rainfall last week. Good progress has been made, especially in the south of England and into the Midlands, although yields are continuing to prove to be highly variable.


With the recent effects of storm Francis hitting the UK this week, harvest progress has taken a hit.


Weather forecasts are now showing an unsettled outlook for the UK bank holiday weekend and growers with crops still standing will be taking every opportunity to get it in the shed.


It is crucial now for growers to realise the importance of testing and segregation of grain cut post rains going forward.


This will help minimise the chances of unexpected claims on reduced spec and quality when grain reaches the end user.


Fred South, CRM AgriCommodities


Oilseeds market

Soybeans lead the charge. Rapeseed a follower

Commodities of all flavours had a positive week and the oilseeds sector was no exception.


European rapeseed prices moved E4 per tonne higher – without any help from the euro/dollar rate, which still sits close to the peak last seen in mid-2018.


Oilseed traders’ focus is largely on US markets, with soybean production prospects in the Midwest again being questioned.


Current forecasts are for more hot and dry weather ahead and yields may not meet earlier predictions.


This threat to yields, alongside robust Chinese buying interest, encouraged speculators, hedge funds and end-users alike to add substantially to their long Chicago positions last week.


The influential vegoil market has been a supportive element for oilseeds in the last few months and remains in relatively good health.


But analysts are aware that production in Indonesia and Malaysia is set to rise later in the year and with questionable global demand ahead, some argue that the tight current stock situation may soon ease. This may be a headwind for rapeseed prices ahead.


The EU Commission’s Mars outfit left its average EU rapeseed yield estimate unchanged on last month, at 3 tonnes per hectare, but 3.3% lower than the five-year average.


The report also highlighted the persistent dry conditions in Germany that will not help rapeseed drillings.


Rupert Somerscales, ODA

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