AHDB daily market commentary

Friday - 05 February
  • UK feed wheat futures continued their retreat yesterday, with the May-21 contract closing £0.70/t lower, at £201.80/t. Nov-21 futures also lost ground closing at £165.00/t, down £1.00/t.
  • The UK market followed moves down in global wheat markets, with Euronext, Paris milling wheat futures (May-21) also ending the day lower, down €1.00/t at €218.75/t.
  • With little time to go until the introduction of a tax on Russian wheat, we are seeing a strong drive for Russia and the EU to compete in export markets. Demand has been somewhat reduced; apart from the recent Egypt tender, and this is driving prices lower.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/where-next-for-uk-rapeseed-prices-grain-market-daily

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Tuesday - 09 February
  • Global grain and oilseed futures prices rose yesterday as traders re-positioned ahead of tonight’s USDA report. May-21 Chicago maize futures gained $5.71/t, to $221.26/t and the same contract on Chicago soyabeans rose by $7.44/t, to $509.22/t.
  • Cold weather in the US could pose a risk to winter wheat crops because there’s limited snow cover in some areas. This, along with the continuing fallout from Russia’s export tax announcement, pushed up wheat futures yesterday. Chicago wheat futures (May-21) gained $5.05/t, closing at $242.30/t yesterday.
  • UK wheat futures rose less than global prices because sterling has strengthened again against the US dollar. May-21 futures gained £0.60/t to £203.10/t, while Nov-21 futures rose by £1.60/t to £167.10/t.
  • In France, winter wheat was planted on 4.86Mha according to its government. This is 128Kha more than December’s estimate and 15% more than last year. The winter barley area was also trimmed but is still 3% larger than 2020, at 1.21Mha. However, the winter rapeseed area was reduced by 122Kha, to 1.00Mha, and is now 26% smaller than the 2016-2020 average.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/polls-predict-tighter-global-maize-and-soyabean-stocks-grain-market-daily

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Wednesday - 10 February
  • Old crop UK wheat futures (May-21) closed yesterday at £202.90/t, down £0.20/t on Monday’s close. New crop futures were pressured further closing down £0.75/t at £166.35/t.
  • Pressure on our domestic price was due to lower global wheat markets as Chicago wheat and Paris milling wheat contracts closed down.
  • This was due to the latest USDA WASDE report reducing its forecast of US maize stocks less than market expectations. World (less China) ending stocks are forecast to be 90.4Mt, down from 92.2Mt in the January report. Further to that, global imports of maize are revised up 2.7Mt far less than market expectations.
  • Global ending stocks were also reduced for wheat as global feed demand increased, notably for China, increasing 5.0Mt on January’s report.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/egyptian-wheat-demand-is-paramount-for-markets-grain-market-daily

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Thursday - 11 February
  • UK feed wheat futures closed lower again yesterday. The May-21 feed wheat futures contract ended the day at £199.65/t, a fall of £3.25/t. The UK market tracked movements in global markets, with the fall made larger by the continued strength of sterling.
  • With dry weather persisting in South America, reports from Buenos Aires Grain Exchange and Conab published later today will give a South American supply update and be important for maize price direction. That said, demand seems to be king at present.
  • The Chicago maize market continued to be weaker in overnight trading. With growth in Chinese corn stocks in Tuesday’s USDA supply and demand estimate, and the cancellation of a 132Kt export sale to an unknown destination, Chicago maize prices (May-21) are down 5.6% (down $12.40/t to $208.85, Refinitiv) since Monday night.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/where-next-for-fertiliser-prices-analyst-insight

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Friday - 12 February
  • UK feed wheat futures increased yesterday to close above £200/t again for old crop contracts. May-21 prices ended the day at £200.15/t, a gain of £0.50/t. Global grain markets bounced after falling to technical support levels, suggesting buyers are present at these levels.
  • Though wheat markets declined following the February WASDE report, freezing temperatures across key US wheat producing regions offered some support. Snow cover is lacking in some fields, with winter-kill risks present at forecast temperatures.
  • The Brazilian soyabean crop is estimated at 133.82Mt following much-needed rainfall, according to the latest Conab report. This is up from a 133.69Mt forecast in January and the 124.84Mt harvested in 2019/20. If realised, this would be a record Brazilian production figure. Markets expect Chinese purchases of this crop to appear shortly.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/uk-feed-barley-domestic-demand-over-the-next-few-months-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Tuesday - 16 February
  • Paris and UK wheat futures rose yesterday after Algeria issued a tender to buy wheat. The tender asks for wheat to be shipped to smaller Algerian ports, so could mean EU wheat has an advantage.
  • There are also worries about cold weather in the US, which could result in some winter kill of winter wheat crops. US futures markets were closed yesterday because of a US federal holiday.
  • May-21 UK feed wheat futures closed at £203.50/t yesterday, £3.00/t more than on Friday. The Nov-21 contract gained £1.50/t over the same period to £167.60, and Nov-22 futures rose by £1.50/t to £157.35/t.
  • Australia will harvest 33.34Mt of wheat this season, its government said this morning, with harvesting nearly complete. This is an all-time record and 2.2Mt more wheat than it estimated in December. Its estimate of the barley crop was also increased by 1.1Mt to 13.1Mt (9.0Mt last year). The canola (rapeseed) crop is now estimated at 4.05Mt, up 0.35Mt from December (2.33Mt).
Today's Grain Market Daily is now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/human-consumption-bean-market-eroded-by-strong-aussie-supplies-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Wednesday - 17 February
  • Yesterday, US wheat futures (nearby) closed up 3.26% to $241.59/t (£173.79/t) from Friday amid ongoing concerns for the US wheat crop. There are worries that the freezing temperatures have hit close to winter kill levels, especially on fields with limited snow cover. US markets were closed on Monday for a public holiday.
  • This gain wasn’t felt too strongly in May-21 UK feed wheat futures which closed at £203.85/t yesterday, £0.35/t up on the day. The Nov-21 contract increased £0.75/t to £168.35/t. Similarly, Nov-22 futures rose by £0.75/t to £158.10/t.
  • The bitterly cold weather felt across the UK and the EU last week was unlikely cold enough to cause crop damage, according to Stratégie Grains. Snow cover was reportedly sufficient enough to insulate fields in the worse hit regions. EU-27 soft wheat production is expected to rebound to 129.6Mt for 2021/22 from 119.2Mt in 2020/21, according to Stratégie Grains.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/a-look-at-alternative-break-crops-for-uk-production-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Thursday - 18 February
  • May-21 UK feed wheat futures took a breather yesterday after four days of gains, closing down £1.85/t at £202.00/t. Nov-21 futures also lost ground, closing £0.70/t lower, at £167.65/t.
  • Chicago wheat futures closed significantly lower yesterday, following their recent weather led rally. The May-21 contract ended the day $4.96/t lower, at $238.08/t.
  • Chicago maize futures gained marginally yesterday. Support for maize prices, and so other feed grains, will likely depend on China’s buying habits after the Chinese New Year holiday.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/harvest-22-gross-margins-drop-off-for-barley-analyst-insight

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Friday - 19 February
  • UK feed wheat futures (May-21) rose by £2.25/t yesterday, to £204.25/t. The Nov-21 futures contract rose by £1.35/t, reaching £169.00/t. The gains followed higher global wheat prices, but stronger sterling capped UK futures.
  • Global wheat prices rose as cold weather remains a threat to wheat in the US, and SovEcon cut 1.5Mt from its 2021 Russian wheat crop forecast.
  • US farmers may plant 0.5Mha more maize and 2.8Mha more soyabeans for harvest 2021 than harvest 2020, according to the USDA. The USDA released the forecasts at its annual outlook conference yesterday. The higher forecasts pushed prices for both crops lower.
  • Paris rapeseed futures (May-21) gained €1.50/t to €460.00/t yesterday, despite falls in Chicago soyabean prices. The forecast 4% rise in the 2021 Canadian canola (rapeseed) area is smaller than some in industry had expected. This, and short covering, pushed May-21 Canadian canola futures to the highest price yet.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/oat-milling-demand-boosted-in-first-half-of-2020-21-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Tuesday - 23 February 2021
  • Old crop (May-21) UK wheat futures closed yesterday at £206.00/t, increasing by £0.50/t on Friday’s close. New crop (Nov-21) closed unchanged at £169.75/t.
  • Cold weather throughout January and February in Europe caused limited damage, the EU’s crop monitoring service (MARS) announced yesterday. This was due to sufficient snow cover in the areas that were most affected.
  • Brazil’s 2020/21 soyabean harvest advanced to 15% of the planted area by 18 February. This is down from 31% this time last year, and the slowest pace in 10 years, according to AgRural.
  • Chicago soyabean futures (May-21) found support because of this harvest delay, closing $509.77/t. This is up $2.76/t on Friday’s close.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/market-conditions-and-weather-can-change-us-cropping-intentions-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Wednesday - 24 February 2021
  • UK feed wheat futures (May-21) fell back £1.00/t, closing at £205.00/t. The May contract still remains in a long-term upward channel. New crop (Nov-21) futures fell by just £0.10/t, ending yesterday at £169.65/t.
  • UK markets moved against the grain of global wheat markets, with sterling continuing to make gains against both the euro and the dollar. Sterling closed at £1=€1.1616 and £=$1.4113, yesterday. Sterling is now at the highest point against the dollar since April 2018.
  • Rapeseed values were supported yesterday. The May-21 Paris rapeseed contract closed at €472.00/t, a jump of €11.00/t. Support came from a mix of soyabeans (up 1.5%) and vegetable oils.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/balance-sheet-shows-small-surplus-before-exports-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Thursday - 25 Febraury 2021
  • Old crop feed wheat futures closed at £206.75/t yesterday, up £1.75/t. New crop closed up also, gaining £0.45/t to close at £170.10/t. Feed wheat prices benefitted from both technical support and speculation surrounding the tight picture for old-crop EU grains.
  • Chicago soyabean prices hit their highest level since 15 January, reaching $14.35/bu. This comes after heavy rains forecast for Brazil may cause further delays to harvest and planting of the second maize crop.
  • With Brazilian harvest delays disrupting exports, analysts are expecting soyabean crushers in China to see a shortage which may see crushing reduced, inventories shrinking, and price rises until mid-April. Chinese soyameal futures prices rose 6% this month to $555/t.
  • A study has been published on China’s new variants of African Swine Fever virus. Conclusions were that the strain causes milder disease in their pig herd, though this makes it harder to both detect and control.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/analyst-insight-green-fuel-what-could-this-mean-for-wheat-prices

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Friday - 26 February 2021
  • May-21 UK feed wheat futures closed at £206.50/t yesterday, down £0.25/t from Wednesday’s close. However, Nov-21 futures rose £1.00/t to £171.10/t and the Nov-22 contract gained £1.25/t to £160.10/t.
  • Some profit-taking was reported in the Chicago wheat and maize futures, which pushed prices down. The trigger was relatively low new export sales by the US for wheat, maize and soyabeans in the week ending 25 February.
  • French winter wheat and barley crop conditions have slipped over winter but remain much better than last year (FranceAgriMer). As at 22 February, 87% of winter wheat was rated ‘good’ or ‘very good’. This is down from 96% at the end of November but well above the 64% at this time last year. This shows French production remains on track to rebound this year.
  • The International Grains Council (IGC) raised its estimates of global wheat production for this season (2020/21) yesterday. There were increase from Australia, Kazakhstan and Russia. But, the IGC kept its forecast for end of season stocks unchanged, partly due to higher demand.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/new-crop-wheat-pricing-to-limit-exports-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Tuesday - 02 March 2021
  • UK wheat futures are relatively unchanged Friday to Monday. May-21 lost £0.10/t to close at £206.90/t and Nov-21 remained unchanged at £170.50/t.
  • Over the same period, Chicago wheat and maize futures (May21) both lost $3.68/t and $3.64/t respectively. This was the lowest maize has traded in over two weeks, due to fund selling.
  • Russian Consultancy SovEcon have raised their wheat export forecast to 39.1Mt, up 1.2Mt from the previous estimate. This increase is due to fast export pace prior to the 15 Feb wheat export tax.
  • Australian wheat production is expected to total 25Mt in the 2021/22 season, down 25% from the current season. Rains caused by the La Niña have reduced acreage and yields.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/rapeseed-prices-rally-where-next-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Wednesday - 03 March 2021
  • UK feed wheat values (Nov-21) continued to move up yesterday, closing at £171.95/t. Old crop, May-21 feed wheat futures, gained £0.55/t, to close at £207.45/t.
  • New crop UK feed wheat futures are now at just a £1.98/t discount to new crop (Dec-21) Paris milling wheat futures, a further signal of the UK moving towards import parity for new crop pricing. Helen discussed the historic trends in this relationship last week.
  • Global grain markets moved higher yesterday, alongside delays to Safrinha maize crops in Brazil, markets are still awaiting confirmation of damage to wheat crops following the cold weather in North America.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/where-is-the-ceiling-for-new-crop-wheat-prices-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Friday - 05 March 2021
  • Old crop UK wheat futures (May-21) fell slightly yesterday at £205.50/t, down £0.25/t. New crop futures (Nov-21) were unmoved at £170.50/t. The May-22 contract increased £0.30/t to be at £175.30/t yesterday.
  • French soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations rose to 821Kt in February, from 561Kt in January (Refinitiv). Despite a lull in purchases by China, exports to Algeria and Morocco increased. Season to February exports are now estimated around 5.0Mt, with around 2.5Mt to go to reach the full seasonal forecast.
  • Favourable weather across France last week saw spring barley planting pace jump to 50% complete, from 19% the week previous (FranceAgriMer). The warmer weather aided soft wheat condition scores too, which were rated at 88% ‘good to very good’, up 1% on the week.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/red-diesel-risk-from-rise-in-crude-oil-prices-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Tuesday 9 March
  • UK feed wheat futures (May-21) closed yesterday at £206.30/t, up £0.80/t from Friday’s close. New crop futures gained £0.30/t yesterday, to close at £171.80/t.
  • Stratégie Grains cut the EU and UK end of 2020/21 season rapeseed stocks yesterday, by 180Kt to 1.1Mt. This is due to fewer imports and high crush margins. Ending stocks are now forecast to be 800Kt down on last year.
  • Weather maps for the US indicate 1 to 1.5 inches of rain is destined for western Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle, with a possibility of 3 inches plus in central and eastern Kansas. There is hope this may ease drought conditions. The proportion of the winter wheat crop rated “good” or “excellent” in Kansas reportedly dropped to 36%, down 1%. Regular crop condition reporting for the US will commence in April.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/life-after-bps-what-is-in-store-for-arable-farms-grain-market-daily

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Wednesday 10 March
  • Old crop UK wheat futures (May-21) fell yesterday at £205.55/t, down £0.75/t. Similarly new crop futures (Nov-21) fell £0.70/t to £171.10/t. Declines were seen most in the May-22 contract, which declined £1.00/t to £175.50/t yesterday.
  • Paris rapeseed futures (Nearby) hit record highs on Monday closing at €525.75/t (£450.40/t). Prices have since eased back, but bullish fundamentals remain. Rapeseed stocks held by major exporters have tightened following increased Chinese demand for vegetable oils this season. EU rapeseed crushing figures reportedly hit record levels in January, according to Fedoil.
  • Algeria has reportedly purchased a total of 450Kt – 510Kt in its latest milling wheat tender, which closed yesterday. The purchase price was reportedly an estimated $323.0/t (c&f) for the tender. Algeria does not release tender results, with reports based on trade estimates.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/impact-domestically-from-the-march-wasde-grain-market-daily

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Thursday 11 March
  • UK feed wheat futures had small losses yesterday with old crop (May-21) falling £0.55/t, to £205.00/t. New crop (Nov-21) futures closed down £0.35/t, at £170.75/t.
  • US wheat futures also weakened slightly yesterday with May-21 down $1.47/t, to $239.75/t. The Dec-21 contract closed down $1.75/t, at $238.56/t. The May-21 maize futures contract had its second consecutive day of loses, down a further $4.63/t to $210.23/t.
  • Dryness in Argentina throughout February and into March, has led to Rosario Grains Exchange cutting a further 4Mt off its soyabean production forecast, now at 45Mt. The lack of rains has impacted both area and yields.
  • FranceAgriMer have raised their monthly forecast of French soft wheat stocks by over 100Kt, to 2.7Mt. This is due to a cut in exports within the European Union.
Today's Grain Market Daily is now now published - https://ahdb.org.uk/news/analyst-insight-china-have-a-need-a-need-for-feed

Latest futures market prices available here - https://ahdb.org.uk/cereals-oilseeds-markets

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Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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