Oilseed rape markets have dropped sharply over the past week, hampered by the strong pound and soya harvest progress in the US. Spot ex-farm prices averaged £224/t as Farmers Weekly went to press – £11/t down on the week. Pulse prices were also dragged down, with feed peas and beans losing £3/t to average £167/t and £173/t, respectively.

As of 21 September, farmers in the US had harvested 3% of the soyabean crop, with 71% reported to be in good to excellent condition. As a result, funds sold heavily on the Chicago futures market, forcing French and UK values down.

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Wheat and barley markets were also lower on the week, with feed wheat dropping below £100/t in many areas. “Strategie Grains have further increased EU production estimates: Wheat up 2.5m tonnes from last month to 146.6m tonnes; barley up almost 2m tonnes to 59.6m tonnes and maize up 3.3m tonnes to a new record of 71.3m tonnes,” said a report by HGCA.

“Sellers of feed grain may take some comfort from the rise in EU maize import duties from €5.32/t (£4.17) to €10.44/t (£8.18),” it added. “Although it may cushion the decline in global prices, it is unlikely to offer complete protection.”