Oilseed rape firms as prices strengthen for soya beans

Oilseed rape values firmed marginally over the past week, with stronger US soya bean prices offset slightly by the stronger pound ahead of a predicted rise in UK interest rates.

Ex-farm prices gained just over £1/t in the week to Wednesday (1 November), to average £311.50/t for spot movement.

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This followed an improvement in global soya bean values amid reports of low protein in the US crop, which could lead to a protein supply squeeze before the South American harvest, said a report by analyst CRM. Brazilian soya bean plantings were running 10% points behind last year due to dry weather, although recent rainfall was likely to improve conditions, it added.

Closer to home, Strategie Grains increased its estimate of EU rapeseed plantings from 6.61m ha to 6.74m ha (similar to 2016-17), although wet weather could damage yields, particularly in Poland and Germany.

Rain was also causing problems in the Black Sea area, delaying harvest and potentially damaging sunflower and corn quality, said a report by French analyst Agritel. However, conditions were positive for the 2018 crop, it added.

Physical trade on UK markets remained quiet, with farmers having sold sufficient amounts forward, said traders.