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Drilling delayed across Europe as weather woes weigh on cereal market

The first half of October saw global cereal prices firm on the back of poor Southern Hemisphere production figures and fears over US plantings.

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Drilling delayed across Europe as weather woes weigh on cereal market

However, US growers were able to plant winter crops and just about complete the last of the corn and soyabean harvests.

 

Despite the slightly bearish end to October, physical and futures were up over the month.

 

March 2020 London wheat is about £140 per tonne, rising to £150/t for July and £152/t for November 2020.

 

Smaller European stocks and higher global oilseed prices have supported UK oilseed rape values.

 

The first new season cereal processing figures show wheat milling in July and August was at 883,000t, down nearly a quarter on the 2018 figure.

 

Barley use for malting and brewing in the two months was a little up on last year at 317,000t.

 

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Raw ingredient use for animal feed has fallen from 1.9 million tonnes in July and August 2018 to 1.8mt in the same period this year.

 

UK cereal exports increased dramatically in the run-up to the abandoned Brexit date as shippers sought to sell before any no-deal tariffs and restrictions came into place.

 

AHDB estimated there was about 2.2mt of wheat to export this season.

 

It estimated more than half this total will have been shipped by the end of October.

 

November and December trade is traditionally quiet and may be even more so this year. There is 2.4mt of barley to export this season too.


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Rain at the weekend exacerbated winter cereal drilling problems, with more than one-third of the winter wheat crop still to go in the ground.

 

There are also reports of another year of cabbage stem flea beetle attacks damaging the oilseed rape crop.

 

AHDB suggests that, as in the last season in 2012, there will be a big swap over to spring planting.

 

In that year, spring bean plantings were up a quarter. It is not just British growers who are struggling to plant, with drilling delayed in France and elsewhere.

 

This could support values from the 2020 harvest.

 

The wet weather continues to delay the UK potato harvest, especially in the north and west of the country.

 

There are also concerns over the quality of wet potatoes going into stores. Prices have already strengthened and could increase further.

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