UK oilseeds prices driven up by global soya bean markets

UK oilseeds have had a £14/t uplift in the past week as markets follow the wider global soya bean trend, which has been supported by a shift in supply-and-demand dynamics.

Ex-farm spot prices collected midweek for oilseed rape stood at £352/t on 13 March, putting prices back above £350/t for the first time since early December.

Improved soya bean demand from China and a lower Brazilian production estimate have helped to support global markets, but prices remain low by historic standards.

See also: Oilseeds markets ease back with prices at £340/t

Chicago soya beans futures have continued to climb since the start of the month.

Paris rapeseed futures closed at €444/t (£380/t) for the May 2024 contract on 12 March, up almost €22/t (£19/t) on the week.

Global production revised down

Last Friday’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, released by the US Department of Agriculture, lowered its global oilseed production estimate by 700,000t to 658.7m tonnes.

It forecast soya bean production in Brazil down 1m tonnes to 155m tonnes and reduced its estimate for South Africa by 400,000t to 2.1m tonnes as a result of lower yield prospects. Global opening stocks for soya beans in 2023-24 were also revised down.

A smaller rapeseed crop in India has added some support to markets, with heavy rainfall in the country reducing output.

UK outlook

While UK markets have benefited in the short term, with some gains due to a slightly more optimistic global outlook, looking towards harvest, the picture is still slightly bearish and overall prices remain relatively low compared with previous years.

Grain merchant ADM said the recent increase shows the market may be starting to find some value at these lower levels, but the overall picture has not changed significantly.