Weather concerns keep grain markets nervous

Global grain markets remain nervous due to adverse weather conditions across the EU, America and Canada.

The US Department of Agriculture‘s latest report put total corn plantings at just 13% by 1 May – 53 percentage points behind last year and 27 points below the five-year average. Heavy rain meant spring wheat plantings were pegged at 10%, compared with 57% last year and an average of 43%. And just 34% of the winter wheat crop is in good to excellent condition, down 1% on the week and half that of last year.

Flooding in Canada has delayed corn plantings, with drilling now up to three weeks late. However, while this will be supportive of grain markets, it is bearish for oilseeds, as Canadian rapeseed plantings are likely to increase to a record 19.2 million acres, says Jonathan Lane, trading manager at Gleadell Agriculture.

“South American harvests are progressing well to relieve pressure on low US stocks.” Lower Chinese demand for soya is also affecting the market, but European prices remain in limbo amid continuing dry weather.

New crop wheat was valued at about £165/t for November as Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (4 May), with oilseed rape at about £373/t ex-farm.