2017-11-01   facebook twitter rss
Crop Market Update from Gleadell

Gleadell’s comments on the markets for the week ending 26th October 2017.

Feed Wheat

Since our last report US markets have climbed about $2/t in mainly range-bound trading. US concerns are mounting, both internally and on the export front, over demand for US supplies, as importers continue to by-pass the US, opting for cheaper alternatives. Although Russian export prices have edged higher, due to ongoing export demand and a firmer currency, more competitively priced US supplies continue to struggle to find interest, as exports inspections fell to only 170,000t in the w/e 19th October, and are currently running 5% lower year-on-year.


EU prices remain unchanged from our last report, as dynamics still point to markets impacted by a general lack of demand. EU soft wheat exports are running over 30% lower year on year, and project little sign of a significant change in the short to medium term. Russian wheat continues to monopolise Egypt, with the recent trade meaning that for four consecutive tenders, no other origin has been purchased. France may be the source of the majority of the recent Algerian soft wheat tender, although working on normal freight costs and rates, it appears that the price may have been heavily discounted to secure the business.
UK prices are also unchanged, with sterling slightly weaker. As we move into November, the potential increase of available ‘cash wheat’ may erode the elevated delivery premiums built into the market due to the supply squeeze during October. As growers finish field work, they may focus on marketing, taking advantage of the relative firm spot prices.
In summary, apart from a bout of fund short-covering, markets have moved sideward over the past two weeks. Market fundamentals remain bearish, with no weather-threatening problems impeding new crop northern hemisphere sowings so far. Demand remains lacklustre, and supplies remain burdensome, leaving either a major weather issue, or a complete reversal to the current fund short position, as the key supportive factors.

Malting Barley

The market is quiet and drifting lower as all EU buyers are covered until after Christmas.

Next year’s prices are still being affected by crop’17 and there is aggressive selling from Denmark, following a big upturn in the predicted spring area.

Gleadell has various harvest 18 contracts available for both spring and winters, including the grain pool, and there is buying interest for newer varieties such as Craft, Laureate and Chanson. Please speak to your local Gleadell Farm Trader for more information.


The soybean harvest in the USA has seen rapid progression, with USDA reporting that last week combines covered enough acres to bring harvest into line with five-year averages. Weather conditions have been more favourable for plantings in Brazil, whilst worries in Argentina remain offset by record carry-in stocks.

Certainly, Argentine growing conditions seem to be priced in, so support has been lacking in the CBOT soybean contract, which has felt pressure over the past two weeks.

The Canadian canola harvest is reflective of the US, with harvest progress ahead of last year and five-year averages. The major canola producing state of Saskatchewan had only 5% left to cut last week, so is no doubt now finished. The timely harvest (of a bumper crop) has increased farmer selling, with monthly canola exports greater than expected and crushing usage at seasonal highs.

The UK scenario remains at status quo. Farmers have been reluctant sellers and prices remain stagnant as crushers use imported seed and merchants cover previous sales. If imported vessels are tendered on the looming November MATIF delivery, then this will push the European market lower. No doubt UK buyers will want to follow. Unless weather conditions drastically change in South America or sterling devalues, UK farmgate prices look ready to move lower.


Free market volume being offered in the domestic market remains light, which is keeping prices firm going into Christmas.
Concerns over the quality of the UK crop from this last harvest continue to raise questions as to the actual size of the crop available for use by the millers and how much will be sold as feed.
Winter crop drilling continues apace and expectations lean towards an increase in the spring-planted acreage.


UK compounders are still very reluctant to use feed beans in any quantity due to the cheap alternatives available. This situation might change in the new year, but the feed base price will be put under pressure before purchases can happen. The human consumption market remains difficult with UK quality being very variable, making most shippers nervous about entering new contracts.


There is plenty of land now cultivated and waiting for spring cropping. However, not giving into the temptation of drilling them with winter wheat is increasingly difficult as the weather stays fine for the week ahead. The economics of winter wheat remain better than for most spring cereal options and, while historic grassweed problems might make the management decision more justified to hold off drilling in the autumn, we are late enough now to have much better control of grassweeds. KWS Siskin, Shabras, KWS Crispin, and Hardwicke remain in stock ready to be delivered immediately treated up to spec. We would also urge growers at this stage to seriously consider the benefits of Vibrance Duo on wheat seed to aid establishment.
Winter beans are extremely limited in availability, so please ensure requirements are covered. There are limited amounts of Bumble available –all other varieties are now either sold out or very close to being so.
We would urge spring barley growers to put their name against some seed. Laureate is already getting very tight and RGT Planet and Propino won’t be far behind. The benefits of using Turbo seed treatment were clearly seen last season. It has proven itself as a worthy investment for aiding establishment and rooting capacity to help plants cope much better with stressful growing conditions.


Ammonium Nitrate
Global nitrogen markets have continued to increase over the last few months and the outlook remains firm for nitrates across Europe.

CF released new terms and has surprised many by the competitiveness of its AN prcing in comparison to other markets.
European imports continue to struggle against the levels set by CF. Our advice remains to secure further requirements at the terms available.
Granular Urea
Urea markets remain firm and Egyptian FOB values have continued to edge higher this week.

India has arrived with another tender in the hope they secure more tonnes, and traders expect fresh demand to surface from Europe, Turkey and Brazil.

The outlook is that this buying/demand will keep the market firm through November and December into Q1.

However, in the background a possible correction worries all and questions remain at what stage might this happen, to what level and if it happens will it arrive too late?
As growers get drilled up interest is building in spring grades.

CF has revised NPK compounds for November and December delivery in an attempt to encourage early buying.
Despite rising phosphate and potash costs, blenders have had to lower blend prices to compete.

gleadell crop market update

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