Wednesday, 30 August 2017

August 2017 Update

The wet and stormy weather that dominated the last week of July has continued unabated into August. At the time of writing, most growers have only just managed two consecutive harvesting days! The relatively comfortable start to harvest in mid-july was quickly replaced with anxiety as heavy rain and wind in early-August battered very ripe Winter Barley and Oilseed Rape crops. Many growers by-passed winter barley in favour of OSR (being far more susceptible to storm damage) which unfortunately led to a loss of quality and yield in the winter barley crop.
Towards the middle of August most growers had made a start into spring barleys and wheats. Spring barleys once again have produced very respectable samples; if growers could consistently yield 3t/acre or higher with spring barley, it makes you question the merits of persisting with winter barley. Spring malting varieties all seem to be producing good quality and retention but with nitrogens marginally higher than has been seen in recent years.
Winter wheats so far have been fairly average; most first-wheats have been good but as yet nothing startling. Second-wheats however seem to have been much more mixed; it would seem that later drilled second-wheats that have hung on longer through summer have produced far better yields and quality than those drilled earlier. The greatest concern to have arisen through harvest is surrounding milling wheat quality; the persistent wet weather has led to a much greater variability in hagberg meaning there could be useful premiums over the coming year for any samples that do meet full-milling spec.
Grain markets have been a tale of two halves with OSR and feed barley remaining relatively unchanged for the last 4 weeks. Barley continues to trade at £118-120/t spot with no carry further forward; OSR is around £314 August and £325 for November, having seemingly never come under a great deal of harvest pressure, telling you everything you need to know about domestic stocks and farmer-sentiment.
Wheat markets have not been quite so mundane; having reached a high of £153/t for November in July, (at the time of writing) wheat has fallen to £138.50 for November. This is down to a couple of factors; firstly, it being harvest, markets (around the world) are always put under pressure. More importantly, a record-Russian wheat crop has been estimated at over 77 million tonnes, and coupled to improving US crop hopes the market has come under renewed pressure.  Domestically, it is difficult to the see the market sustaining these levels once we reach autumn. By this point most growers have moved everything they need to for storage and cash-flow purposes and are content to watch the market for a little while. With the incredibly strong demand for feed wheat in the North of England, the sellers are in a much stronger position.
The GrainCo seed-plant has now moved onto wheat processing and already a few varieties are becoming scarce; Barrel, Skyfall, Relay and Gator have all sold out, however there are good alternatives to be found in Siskin, Lili, Dickens and the old stalwart, J B Diego. As predicted Cassia feed barley has proved very popular again with only Tower and Glacier still available.
There is very little to report on in the fertiliser market at present with all attention on harvest and the up-coming drilling campaign. UK AN is around £200-205/t for Autumn delivery, imported AN continues to struggle and the incredibly poor exchange rate of the pound to the euro is not helping this situation. As expected, Urea has lifted to £225-230/t for autumn delivery and compounds remain fairly flat. There are decent offers for DAP at £330/t, which should be of interest to anyone looking to apply DAP when establishing OSR.
Call 0191 4287700 for all Grain Marketing, Seed and Fertiliser enquires.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

New season KWS Cassia Winter Barley Seed arriving at the Piercebridge Seed Plant.

Call 01914287700 to order quality seed.

July Update

 This last month has seen the development of a classic pre-harvest weather market whereby November’17 futures hit contract highs of £154/t in the middle of July before rebounding down by £7-8/t. With the effect of a dry summer period in both America and Europe yet to be fully understood, markets are tending to follow trader sentiment and the weather forecast rather than any fundamental evidence of lower yields or quality. What effect the dry weather has truly had won’t properly be known for some time, what can be predicted, however, is that markets will continue to be very volatile until much further progress is made through spring wheat harvests on the Continent and in the US.
Barley harvest began in southern parts of the UK at the beginning of July with growers on light and gravelly ground in the North not far behind. It is difficult to garner much from early yields or quality, but suffice to say that yields have not been spectacular thus far. Quality has certainly improved as time has gone on with later crops producing much better specific weights. Once again Cassia has so far proved to be the most consistent variety where quality is concerned and, with a lot of growers reverting back to it this autumn, seed may be in short supply.
The market for as-available barley has strengthened a little over the last week or two and benefitted from a slight down-turn in wheat values. £118/t is an achievable figure in Yorkshire at the moment with values further north £2-3 below this reflecting the differential in haulage. Given the large spread between wheat and barley and very little pressure on storage so far, most growers will be keeping hold of barley for the moment. However, as other commodities are cut, storage pressure may force some to sell to make space.
OSR harvest is slowly starting to begin in the north of the UK; wet and stormy weather in the latter half of July has slowed down crop senescence meaning that very little looks as though it will be fit until August.  Early yield results from the rest of the UK have been encouraging and, with values managing so far to hold well above £300/t for August, many growers may opt to sell OSR off the combine to aid cash-flow instead of selling wheat or barley.
As mentioned earlier, Cassia has once again produced the highest spec. weight barley sample through our seed-plant thus far. Tower and Glacier have shown themselves to be vulnerable on early land but as later crops are cut, quality and yield are both improving. Wheats won’t begin processing for a couple of weeks; both Basset and Barrel have almost sold out and LG Motown is also proving very popular with only a limited amount of seed available this year. Lili and Graham currently look like the most popular first-wheat choice here in the north with Siskin and Dickens fitting into the second-wheat slot.
With greater focus on harvest, the fertiliser market has plateaued for the time being; UK AN values for October delivery remain around £195-200/t and imported product still £5-10/t less.  Urea has taken a drop in price back to £210-215 onto farm which, against AN, looks very competitive. Sterling reached record lows against the Euro at the end of July which will no doubt affect the competiveness of imported AN and Urea in the short term. Sulphur N and compounds remain unchanged and it seems unlikely that these will vary much in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

GrainCo Seed Special 2017

GrainCo's Annual Seed Magazine is now available to available to view  online. Farmer Profiles, Spotlight on Seed and Variety Guides here

Thursday, 25 May 2017

May 2017 Update

Over the last couple of months, concerns around dry weather in the UK (particularly the south and east) have begun to dominate the minds of both farmers and traders. After a dry winter, March and April have provided little relief. As crops began to move through the growth stages, fears of a lack of rainfall began to take over, which have subsequently been reflected in new crop markets. By the middle of May, November wheat had peaked at £143 ex farm with September trading at £140. With growers reticent to sell due to the uncertainty of yields, consumers with little bought, pushed the market up in an effort to take some cover.
Thankfully, by the latter half of May, most regions of the UK had received useful amounts of rainfall and new crop markets eased back to £140 for November as a consequence. However, whilst the consumers still look to fulfil their new crop requirements and the weather ensures farmers are hesitant to sell, it is hard to see new crop values fall much below these levels for now.

Old crop wheat values remain fixed at around £150 ex farm. It seems unlikely that there will be much variation in these values now but with few holders of old crop wheat left. A small rise can’t be ruled out as we move closer to harvest and old crop becomes scarcer.

Oilseed rape remains relatively stubborn; old crop values have fallen to £325 June, and with the new crop approaching on the horizon, this doesn’t look set to change as available OSR is currently valued at £296/t ex farm and is unlikely to draw many sellers. Given the fickle nature of the OSR market and unpredictability of OSR yields, values would have to take at least a £20/t rise to induce many farmers to sell.

CF released their new season fertiliser in mid-May, producing a rapid uptake of orders. With the price-ratio between of wheat and AN at an historic low, September terms quickly sold out causing a £7-8/t price rise the next day. New season Urea prices have provided a competitive nature to the market with values between £205 - £210/t as a ball park figure. On a £/unit-of-N basis this worked out at around £0.45 for urea against £0.52 for UK AN. Importers never really got going, struggling to secure offers overseas which did not come as a surprise.

The rest of the market has remained fairly flat; NPK’s with higher N have understandably dropped back but there has not been much of an uptake on the order front with most enquires focusing on the Nitrogen market. Despite urea and AN moving £5-10/t higher from the recent lows, they still represent good value for anyone in a position to take delivery.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

New Season Fertiliser


New Season fertiliser prices are now available on Granular Urea grades along with UK Ammonium Nitrate.
Offers have come out earlier than expected but are £60/t less than last week. Delivery, depending on the product, range from May through to September with later payment dates an option if required.
If you would like to place an order, or for more information please contact your local rep or our office on 01914287700.
Offers may only be available for a limited time only.