Wheat, soya and rapeseed fall on coronavirus news

The coronavirus outbreak has wobbled global commodity markets, with soya prices hitting new contract lows on the Chicago market.

The Brent crude oil price has lost 24% since its January spike, while rapeseed is suffering from pressure on the soya market.

Oilseed rape prices averaged £326/t spot ex-farm on Wednesday morning (5 February), down by almost £7/t on a week earlier.

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Spot feed wheat, averaging £148/t ex-farm, was on a par with a week earlier and ranging from £146/t to £152/t ex-farm depending on region.  

However, feed wheat futures have lost £6-7/t in the past two weeks, with the May 2020 contract at £152.50/t as Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (5 February).

The slowing of Chinese demand as a result of the shutdowns aimed at containing the virus have made trade nervous across a wide range of commodities.

Commitments under the first part of January’s US-China trade deal are being questioned, with China yet to make any significant purchases of US soya beans this year.

The virus comes on top of the huge effect of African swine fever in China, where 40% of the pig herd was lost or slaughtered last year.

“European rapeseed markets will continue to see pressure from the US soya bean supply until significant purchases are made by China,” said the AHDB.