22 December 1995

Soya troubles help rapeseed

OILSEED rape was trading at "contract highs" this week, following news of continuing drought in Brazil and Argentina in the run-up to their soyabean harvest.

With the rising price of soya-meal pulling up the value of rapemeal, oilseed rape was quoted at £196/t delivered to Erith for January to March – equivalent to £188/t to £190/t ex-farm. Further rises were not ruled out, providing encouragement to farmers who are believed to be holding more in store than normal.

Much will depend on whether the demand for oil picks up. "Last year we had an oil-led price rally, but this season it has been the poor relation to meal," said Glencore trader Keith Davies.

Elsewhere in the grain trade, wheat markets have shrugged off last weeks commission decision to allow just 50,000t of export business with a tax of £13/t, and to release further intervention stocks in its quest to reduce prices.

Values actually climbed

Feed wheat values actually climbed £1 to £122/t spot following publication on Monday of better than expected UK export figures. These put wheat shipments to the end of October at 1.1m tonnes, compared with 714,000t at the same time last year, and barley at 673,000t, compared with 202,000t.

"The expectation is that the UK will have done 1.7m tonnes of wheat by the end of December," said Usborne Grains James Marshall. "How things will go in the second half of the season depends on your view of how big the export surplus was to start with."

The Home-Grown Cereals Authority believes it may be bigger than expected, due to an over-estimate by MAFF of the amount of wheat going to animal feed this season. It suggests another 1.4m tonnes need to be exported.