International Grain, Seed and Fertiliser Merchant

Market Report

Thursday 15 March 2018

Feed Wheat

The US market is down about $3/t as forecasts indicate rain into the southern plains’ extended model. In the southern plains, where the winter wheat crop is emerging from dormancy and requires moisture, at a time when much of the region is gripped by drought, yield prospects are diminishing, raising concerns over greater acreage abandonment and reduced output. In Kansas, the governor has declared a drought emergency order in 28 counties, which allows access of water from lakes, and issued a drought warning for the remainder of the state.

EU Matif prices are up about €2/t on the week, despite a firmer euro and weaker Chicago trade. Support came from Algeria’s surprisingly low 150,000t purchase, which is likely to be of French origin, and no recent reduction in Russia’s export values. The French farm office cut its monthly forecast of French non-EU exports to 8.5mln t, from 9mln t previously. However, due to a sharply higher on-farm feeding figure, ending stocks were reduced to 3.17mln t from 3.25mln t previously.

UK LIFFE is slightly higher, again a reflection of the current market dynamics, and despite a slightly firmer sterling. As we move towards the final quarter of the marketing season, it appears that consumers’ coverage is less than envisaged, mainly because of perceived lower demand, and what on paper, still looks an over-supplied balance sheet. January official data showed year-to-date (July-January) wheat imports just shy of 1mln t, up 3% y/y and more than three times the level of exports, firmly emphasizing the country’s position as a net importer.

In summary, while the balance sheet may tell you one thing, the physical market is telling another. As in the EU report, the wheat may be out there, but may not appear later in this marketing year. Currently, the scale of UK buying exceeds proud cash sellers, although long-holders must be aware that they are sitting on very expensive feed wheat, with cheaper new crop a matter of months away, not only here, but also elsewhere in the world.

Malting Barley

The wet weather in the UK is sparking concerns, due to the delay in spring drilling, especially for areas of heavy land. The UK forecast points to more cold and unsettled weather for the weekend with a possibility of snow for some regions. Price increases are however being capped due to the large area of spring barley that is forecast to be sown throughout the EU and the worry around lack of UK exports after March next year due to Brexit.

Supply of spring barley seed is running very low and any growers still to order are advised to do so sooner rather than later. Gleadell can offer small tonnages of seed for new spring malting varieties, including Chanson and Diablo. Please speak to your local Gleadell farm trader for more information.


The soy market remains very volatile as South American weather continues to be the key focus. Harvest is making good progress in Brazil, and yields are suggesting a better-than-expected crop, with forecasts now suggesting a new record production of 114.5mln t. Argentina has suffered with drought and heat, but rains are forecast and this, combined with the better-than-expected report from Brazil, has been enough to take the recent shine from the CBOT soybean futures market.

The negativity from the soy complex has filtered into the European rapeseed prices and the Matif is down circa €2 on the week. The old crop supply and demand balance sheet for the EU still looks top heavy, and without a weather problem or some outside influence, it remains difficult to see any significant upside on the old crop market.


The oat market remains devoid of any fresh news to spark old crop price movement. Millers continue to bid in the market for May/June oats, and although farmer selling has seemed light in recent weeks, this has not caused the millers to increase bid levels, citing ample cover as the main reason.

The recent rains have hampered spring drilling. There are very few new crop cash values in the market, as traders and millers keep a close eye on sowing progress in the coming weeks.


The rally in old crop feed beans seems to be running out of steam, with prices unchanged on the week. At current levels, buyers in Spain and Italy will switch to feed peas from the Black Sea and fresh demand from domestic compounders has been limited.

New crop bean prices continue to track the London wheat market, but there has been very little activity with limited volumes coming forward from farm and no interest from the domestic feed compounders.

Spring bean drilling progress has been limited to date. Delayed spring drilling of cereals is expected to benefit the pea area, as some growers look to peas due to the ability to drill later in the year. New crop pea buybacks are available – please contact your Gleadell farm trader for further information.


Spring Drilling

Needless to say, spring drilling is way behind where it should be. Below is our key advice on helping backward plantings catch up:

  • Wait for seed beds to warm up – this is more important with temperature sensitive crops like peas and maize, where soil temperatures should be at least 10 degrees before drilling but will also help cereals and beans grow away from pest pressure much faster. Slugs may be more of an issue this spring than in previous years.
  • Seedbed N – as soon as the crop gets some roots out, it will be looking for N. Applying N, either with the drill or spread on the field pre-drilling, will allow the crop a steady supply of N straight away to help put on some initial growth. ALZON® neo-N, with its slow release properties, is the ideal product in this situation.
  • Don’t drill too deep – drilling too deep will mean the crop will waste valuable energy trying to emerge, and therefore shallowing the depth will allow the seed to reach sunlight faster to start photosynthesising, and also the top layer of soil will be slightly warmer, speeding up emergence. Note – seed should still be covered by a layer of soil in accordance with stewardship guidelines.
  • Increase seed rates – later-drilled crops will have less time to put out tillers, therefore increasing seed rates will allow crops to compensate and produce more ears/m2, hopefully maintaining yield. If you require top-up seed, please contact your farm trader ASAP.
  • Consider phosphite dressingsTurbo, Gleadell’s phosphite dressing of choice, is proven to increase speed of development in the initial stages. This option is obviously too late for seed already delivered, but for any top-up’s, just add Turbo and see the benefits for yourself.
  • Consider a change of cropping – while not a drilling tip, if it’s still possible to change species, then this may be a better option. We still have good supply of peas (Kabuki, Campus & Daytona) which suit later drilling and still provide the best margin opportunity of any spring crop.

Variety Focus – InV1155

With flea beetle pressure not going away, and this cold wet spell of weather potentially pushing harvest date back (and therefore OSR drilling), growing a vigorous and fast establishing OSR variety is such an important trait to growers of the crop for this Autumn. InV1155 from Bayer, is the latest variety from their very successful InVigor breeding programme. With an excellent gross output potential, InV1155 shows a 4% increase in gross output potential over popular hybrid variety Incentive. InV1155 has a very good disease profile with a 7 for light leaf spot and 8 for stem canker, and also has pod shatter tolerance. Please call for more details and to secure your order before harvest.


NPK/PK & Straights

This week saw increases to both phosphate and potash levels, reflecting firming global markets.

Strong demand globally throughout Q1 has continued to firm phosphate levels, which as suppliers move onto new stocks, is filtering through to the UK.

Potash stores across Europe have been depleted and firm prices have been supported as these are restocked ahead of anticipated spring demand. In turn, this has pushed blend values up, reflecting the cost of raw materials.

Currently, CF has held prices unchanged, including its range of NPK compounds. The current terms look attractive today and should be taken advantage of.

As poor weather continues to hamper both spring drilling and first top dressings, the demand for further fertiliser requirements continues to be pushed back.

Coupled with slow demand from the grassland sector, concern continues to grow surrounding both the delivery and availability of product to service this spring market.

£/€ £/$ €/$
1.1275 1.393 1.235
Feed Barley £ Feed Wheat £ Beans £ Oilseed Rape £
Mar18 134.00-142.00 136.00-152.00 161.00 286.00-291.00
May18 136.00-144.00 138.00-153.00 163.00 289.00-293.00
NB: Prices listed may vary depending on area.

NB: Prices quoted are indicative only at the time of going to press and subject to location and quality.

“Although Gleadell take steps to ensure the validity of all information contained within the Gleadell Market Report , it makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. Gleadell will have no liability or responsibility for the information or any action or failure to act based upon such information.”

Gleadell Agriculture cannot accept liability arising from errors or omissions in this publication.

Gleadell trade under AIC contracts which incorporate the arbitration clause.

Terms and Conditions of Purchase.

On every occasion, without exception, grain and pulses will be bought by incorporating by reference the terms & conditions of the AIC No.1 Grain and Peas or Beans contract applicable on the date of the transaction. Also, we will always, and without exception, buy oilseed rape and linseed by incorporating by reference the terms & conditions of the respective terms of the FOSFA 26A and the FOSFA 9A contracts applicable on the date of the transaction. It is a condition of all such transactions that the seller is deemed to know, accept and understand the terms and conditions of each of the above contracts.

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Lindsey House, Hemswell Cliff,
Gainsborough, Lincolnshire DN21 5TH.

Company Number: 534118