Grain markets steady after USDA report

Grain markets have remained relatively stable, despite receiving the first USDA report since September. But oilseed rape prices have jumped on the back of a 2m tonne cut in global soya stocks, to 70.2m tonnes.

Although the USDA raised its global soya bean production estimate by 1.9m tonnes to 283.5m tonnes, reduced stocks in Brazil led to the lower ending stock figure.

Aided by strong export demand to China, Chicago soya bean futures jumped sharply to reach a six-week high. UK rapeseed values followed suit, ending the week up by £4/t to around £298/t ex-farm for spot movement.

Having contributed to record global production this season, Strategie Grains expected the EU to plant 1% less rapeseed for the 2014 harvest, at 6.6m hectares, with the sunflower seed area dropping by 3% to 4.4m hectares.

The USDA’s estimate of US maize production was nearly 4m tonnes up on the previous forecast but still below traders’ expectations.

“There are also signs that the price discount to wheat is helping re-stimulate maize demand, particularly for animal feed, with global demand up 5m tonnes to 933m tonnes,” said a report by HGCA.

“In contrast, wheat continues to be seen as expensive so further reductions in feed demand should be expected.”

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