Global grain gains eroded as markets fall

Global grain markets have ended their two-week rally in fairly spectacular fashion, with profit-taking by funds eroding much of the previous increases.

Chicago soya bean futures lost half of a week’s gains in just one day last Friday (22 April), with maize and wheat futures following a similar trend.

UK values reflected these global movements, albeit in a more muted fashion, with spot feed wheat losing £1.60/t in the week to Wednesday to just under £102/t ex-farm. Oilseed rape fell by £1.50/t to average £270.50/t.

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“Oilseeds markets are still very much focused on the potential effect of South American soya bean supplies, due to weather concerns,” said a report by the AHDB.

Heavy rain in Argentina meant only 16% of the crop had been harvested by 21 April, compared with 46% at the same time last year, leading the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange to reduce its production forecast by 7% to 56m tonnes.

Statistics Canada’s March Farm Survey was also bullish for the oilseeds complex, with intended rapeseed plantings 4% below last year at 7.8m ha. The wheat area was 1% down, at 9.7m ha.

“Combined with lower intended plantings in the US, global supplies of wheat for next season could become tighter,” said the AHDB report.