By FWi Staff

UK ex-farm rapeseed prices climbed over £2/t in some areas last week, on the back of tight supply as producers continued to hold back their grain in the hope of higher prices.

“Farmers sold a good portion of their grain earlier on in the season and are now waiting for better prices before selling any more,” said trader Kevin Bantick of Dalgety, Newmarket, Suffolk.

“However, we have recently had a rally, and now would be a good time to sell. The outlook for the near future is not that dramatic and the market is not likely to be bearish, but remain relatively flat.”

The price rally seen last week was also partly currency-related, said Mr Bantick, and partly in response to a rally in the Chicago oil market. Ex-farm prices are currently about £152/t.

The latest USDA report last week again increased the US soyabean crop estimates, to almost 78 million tonnes, up from over 75m on last months estimates. This is higher than the average trade estimate, but generally in line with current market sentiment.

The Home-Grown Cereals Authority last week reported record world oilseed production for 1998/99 at 290.8m tonnes, up almost 3m tonnes on last months forecast. Demand continued to increase last week, as the prospect of lower prices increased on the back of this.

A fall in the US dollar boosted prospects for US soya exports, and this supported the Chicago soyabean futures, which closed the week higher.