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Frontrunner - 23rd May 2024

Further cuts to Russian 2024 wheat production estimates and concerns for Ukraine output have reignited speculative buying interest, sending futures markets higher and setting new recent highs. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat rose to its highest since August 2023 and French wheat futures to their highest since February 2023, whilst London futures struggled to match the pace as sterling continued to appreciate versus the euro.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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Frontrunner - 16th May 2024

Last Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its first grain balance sheet estimates for next season.

World wheat production is seen higher by 10.5 million tonnes on the year to a total of 798.19 million tonnes, but corn will be lower by eight million tonnes to a total of 1.22 billion tonnes. Increases in consumption for both wheat and corn see stocks falling by 4.2 million tonnes and 800,000 tonnes respectively by the end of next season.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope. 

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  637 Hits

Frontrunner - 9th May 2024

After a sluggish start to the year, wheat prices experienced a remarkable turnaround in the last days of April, surging to multi-month highs. Speculative funds, which had previously driven prices lower by building record short positions in wheat futures markets, reversed their stance.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by Marketing Assistant, Becca Russell. 

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  700 Hits

Frontrunner - 2nd May 2024

Last week, speculative fund short covering took UK wheat futures to their highest levels in 2024 so far. Prolonged dryness and temperatures in the high 20s across much of southern Russia and east Ukraine were the primary price drivers.

However, cooler temperatures and rain over the weekend means buyers have taken a step back and sellers are keen to take advantage of these attractive prices – this has taken markets lower again.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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  598 Hits

Frontrunner - 25th April 2024

In an eventful week for the wheat markets, speculative fund short-covering spurred a sharp ascent, propelling London November 2024 wheat futures past £200/t - their highest level since 10th January. Geopolitical tensions and weather fluctuations initially fuelled the surge, although values retraced mid-week. Escalating missile attacks on the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa by Russia over the weekend, coupled with the US government's proposed $61 billion support for Ukraine's war efforts against Russia, prompted speculative funds to reduce their near-record short positions in global agricultural futures markets.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope. 

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  749 Hits

Frontrunner - 18th April 2024

Last week's United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report brought minimal shifts in the global wheat landscape. While world wheat production saw a slight increase to 787.36 million tonnes and consumption rose marginally to 800.1 million tonnes, end stocks dipped to 258.27 million tonnes. Notably, the adjustments made for India hint at a potentially bullish scenario for world wheat markets.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell.

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  821 Hits

Frontrunner - 11th April 2024

The latest weekly crop condition and progress report from the US highlights a positive outlook for production potential. Winter wheat maintained a steady condition, seen 56% 'good/excellent', which is unchanged on the week. However, this is significantly higher than the same period last year when just 27% of the crop was seen looking this well. Kansas is the number one producing state and edged one point higher on the week, to 49% 'good/excellent'.

Spring wheat and corn planting is off to a good start with the US spring wheat area 3% planted, as expected, up from 1% last week and last year, and unchanged from the five year average. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate.

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  809 Hits

Frontrunner - 4th April 2024

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented a bullish set of data before the Easter weekend and sent futures prices higher.

On 1st March, US wheat stocks were marginally higher than average expectations at 1.087 billion bushels versus 1.044 billion bushels. This was also up on last year which was 0.941 billion bushels.

The surprises for the market didn't come from the stocks though, rather it was the lower-than-expected 2024 US corn and US winter wheat prospective planted areas. Winter wheat is seen down to 34.135 million acres which is at the bottom end of trade guesses - these ranged from 34 million acres to 38.37 million acres and notably the Ag Forum estimated 34.425 million acres. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope.

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  945 Hits

Frontrunner - 28th March 2024

World wheat futures markets enjoyed a short-lived price spike at the end of last week. Early on Monday, follow-through buying took Paris futures to their highest since 7th February and 22 euros above the contract low seen earlier this month. Prices rallied following the news that the largest private Russian grain exporter was in dispute with Russian authorities and was not being issued with the appropriate documentation to allow vessels loaded with grain to sail to their end destinations.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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  1002 Hits

Frontrunner - 21st March 2024

Speculative fund short covering has driven wheat futures higher in recent days, led primarily by gains in the Paris market. The May 2024 contract breached €200/t on Tuesday which was the market's highest level since 27th February 2024.

The funds had built record short positions in the Paris wheat market but improved physical wheat demand, Black Sea supply concerns and EU political moves have been the catalysts to trigger a need to reduce the exposure to potentially higher prices.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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Frontrunner - 14th March 2024

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) late last Friday afternoon, trimming end stocks for both world wheat and corn which helped to lift prices.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope.

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  1161 Hits

Frontrunner - 7th March 2024

Earlier this week, both US and French wheat futures fell sharply again and struck new contract lows.

Wheat futures have nearly lost half their value from their peak in May 2022 and are under pressure from abundant world wheat supplies and cheaper export sales from Black Sea origins. Offers are reported to have fallen below $200/t FOB – the sterling equivalent of £157/t for milling quality on a vessel at a Black Sea port. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Sophie Whiteman. 

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  1048 Hits

Frontrunner - 29th February 2024

So far, 2024 has proven to be disappointing for wheat prices. London wheat futures lost 20% of their value over the first seven weeks of the new year, but in week eight they managed to reverse the trend and for the first time this year closed higher on the week. There was little to be bullish about and the gains were more a desire for speculative traders to lock in profits as wheat futures bounced higher from their contract lows.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell. 

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  1136 Hits

Frontrunner - 22nd February 2024

So far, 2024 has been a bad year for wheat prices under the weight of world grain.

This is now heavier according to the International Grains Council who raised its latest world corn production estimate by four million tonnes to a total of 1.234 billion tonnes, now 71 million tonnes up on last year. World wheat production was left unchanged at 788 million tonnes.

London wheat futures have lost over 16% of their value since the end of last year and they struck a new contract low earlier this week. Subsequently, a spell of short covering for world markets delivered a £7/t gain and signalled a pause in declining prices. Growers who had set triggers in Frontier's MyFarm online pricing system were notified of this and were able to take advantage of the short reversal in trend.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. You can also hear from pulses manager, Andy Bury.

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  1124 Hits

Frontrunner - 15th February 2024

Late last Wednesday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its February World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report and there were very few changes from January's numbers. Year-end stocks for both world wheat and corn will be less than estimated in the previous month's report, but the cuts made were insufficient to halt the slide in wheat prices seen since the beginning of 2024.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by agronomist, Alex Pope. 

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  1313 Hits

Frontrunner - 8th February 2024

By midweek, European wheat markets established new contract lows and extended their 2024 price decline.

Slow demand, uninterrupted wheat exports from the Black Sea and no tangible weather issues has seen London wheat futures shed £25/t in value since the end of 2023. There seems little in sight at this stage to arrest the current trend. 

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Sophie Whiteman. 

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  1362 Hits

Frontrunner - 1st February 2024

World wheat prices continued to fall this week, extending the decline that has prevailed since the beginning of 2024. The Paris and London wheat futures markets both fell to new contract lows - the lowest prices seen since July 2021. Over supply and slow demand have encouraged speculative selling, with managed money traders holding record short positions in the Paris market.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by marketing assistant, Becca Russell. 

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  1280 Hits

Frontrunner - 25th January 2024

This week UK wheat futures have fallen to new contract lows despite support for US and European wheat markets.

UK feed wheat prices remain around £10/t too expensive to compete for export market share. Traditional UK feed wheat EU export destinations, such as Spain and Ireland, continue to find cheaper offers from other origins and there is no shortage of sales opportunity should prices become competitive.

The EU has so far imported 5.4 million tonnes of wheat - 3.65 million tonnes of that has come from Ukraine. UK exports remain stagnant at less than 130,000 tonnes shipped for the first half of the season, signalling a potential carryover of over three million tonnes of stock into next season.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Lucinda Redgate. 

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  1312 Hits

Frontrunner - 18th January 2024

Last Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its first World Agricultural Supply Demands Estimate (WASDE) for 2024, presenting a bearish set of data for both wheat and corn. Subsequently, futures wheat prices dropped sharply and both the Paris and London markets established new contract lows.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Sophie Whiteman.

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  1456 Hits

Frontrunner - 11th January 2024

This week world wheat markets have continued the new year in decent shape, as Russia continues to dominate wheat export share by under cutting other origins.

Paris wheat futures fell to new contract lows under the weight of old crop wheat supplies, despite concerns for 2024 production potential. In its latest tender to buy wheat, the General Authority For Supply Commodities (GASC) purchased 420,000 tonnes of Russian wheat for delivery through February and March at the Russian floor price $265 FOB. There was just one French offer which, including freight, was about $17/t too expensive to compete with the Russian sales, highlighting the competitive challenges in world trade.

You can also listen to the Frontrunner podcast - press play to hear the latest report. The report this week is read by farm trader, Ollie Wilson. 

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  1382 Hits

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