Grain markets ease despite strength in US market

Grain markets have eased after last week’s improvement, with the stronger pound and slow trade eroding values. As Farmers Weekly went to press (4 September), feed wheat was worth about £149/t ex-farm for spot movement – £3.50/t down on the week. Oilseed rape had lost almost £6/t, to about £300/t.

This was despite continued strength in the US market, where soya and maize crops were deteriorating week-on-week in hot, dry weather. “Markets continue to be driven by US corn and soya bean volatility, with weather forecasts, fund buying and bouts of profit-taking combining to produce a roller coaster ride for prices,” said David Sheppard at Gleadell Agriculture.

However, over the past week, the pound had strengthened by more than 1.5% against the euro; to €1.178, making British exports less competitive and eroding earlier price gains made on the continent.

EU exports continued apace, with 3.2m tonnes of soft wheat export certificates granted by 22 August, compared with 1.4m tonnes at the same time last year, said Mr Sheppard. Cheaper Black Sea offers were capping price rises, with Egypt’s latest tender won by Russian, Romanian and Ukrainian wheat at a US$10/t discount to French supplies.

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