Mid-week market report - 1st May 2019

Wheat markets took a distinctly bearish turn yesterday, with EU markets and London futures led lower by the US wheat market. The winter wheat tour got underway in the US Southern Plains and saw good looking wheat crops with strong yield potential. Yields are estimated to be well above last year and at three year highs. CBOT Hard Red Winter wheat futures hit lows not seen since 2006. There is rain in the forecast for the next two weeks and this will continue to disrupt and delay spring wheat and corn planting but, for now, the funds seem relaxed and the winter wheat prospects are dominating.

Elsewhere, Argentine and Australian wheat futures drift lower, with Australia hitting a new crop 11 month low on improving prospects due to rain. There are no concerns in Russia or the Black Sea regions at this time.

In the UK, both old and new crop wheat futures prices came under pressure, with old crop down £3.50 and new crop down £2.50. Despite uncertainty over availability, there is very little consumer activity and a big premium to new crop to be lost. Farmers in many areas may be concerned over soil moisture levels and yield impact but at present the market is more interested in global factors.

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First exports of UK beef to the USA in 20 years underway

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UK beef to be served on US plates for first time in over 20 years, with first exports commencing from a Northern Irish facility.

The first shipments of UK beef are to depart for the USA today (30th September), marking a historic moment for UK farmers and food producers.

Following the USA’s longstanding ban on EU beef – introduced in the wake of the BSE outbreak in 1996 – market access for UK beef was granted in March 2020. UK beef producers now have access to the US market for the first time in over 20 years.

Today’s news means the sector can now begin to reap the economic benefits of trade with the US – with industry estimating beef exports will be worth £66 million over the next five years.

The first shipment of beef originating from...