Frontrunner - 3rd December 2021

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Wheat markets have endured a volatile week of trading, as traders and speculators reacted to the uncertainty of the latest Covid-19 variant Omicron and what it might bring. Having peaked at nine-year highs last week, Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures lost over 10% of their value by close of business on Tuesday. This was due to a wave of panic selling, which caused prices to tumble. European wheat futures made similar losses from their record highs last week.

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

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Frontrunner - 26th November 2021

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European wheat futures rallied further this week, striking new record-high levels as bullish drivers continue to influence markets. Adverse wet weather across east and southeast Australia has proved damaging for wheat crops with reports of sprouted grains and quality wheat consigned to the feed bin. The world's major milling wheat importers were hoping that the arrival of a predicted bumper crop in Australia would ease the tight supply of quality wheat and cap record prices but that may no longer be the case.

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

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Frontrunner - 19th November 2021

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European wheat futures struck new record highs in volatile trading this week. Markets continued to rise, reacting to further notable purchases from some of the world's major wheat importers while being mindful of the likelihood of further export restrictions for Russia, the world's primary wheat exporter. Algeria weighed in with a chunky purchase, thought to be up to 800,000 tonnes, having to pay up to $384/t including freight for shipment mid-December to the end of January.

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 - 12th November 2021

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its November World Agricultural Supply and Demands Estimate (WASDE) report early this week, bringing an end to a short spell of declining prices. A revised estimate for world wheat stocks was released, which was below average trade estimates. The USDA cut world wheat stocks from 277.18 million tonnes to 275.80 million tonnes. This revision changed the negative market sentiment. The profit-taking that was seen from the middle of last week reverted to bullish enthusiasm.

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

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Frontrunner - 5th November 2021

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Wheat markets have continued to go from strength to strength. Future markets have moved sharply higher, with price gains of over 25% since early September. This rise has been driven by wheat production losses for major exporters Canada, US and Russia and by a loss of French quality amidst strengthening demand.

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

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Frontrunner - 29th October 2021

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Wheat futures prices soared again this week, striking new contract highs. This is another record on the back of multi-year highs, driven currently by strong export demand and concerns for tightening world supplies. The Paris wheat market reached its highest level since March 2008 following the release of the EU weekly export data which shows exports have now reached 8.99 million tonnes. Official data for France dating back to July remains incomplete showing just 753,000 tonnes shipped. However, unofficial vessel counts suggest that almost 2.6 million tonnes have been loaded, which would take the total EU shipments to an unsustainable 11 million tonnes.

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

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Frontrunner - 22nd October 2021

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China is the largest wheat producing country and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates the country's total production this season will reach 136.9 million tonnes. However, Chinese government officials said this week that persistent heavy rain impacting the main wheat producing areas across the country has left planting at only 26% complete so far.

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 Powell. 

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Frontrunner - 15th October 2021

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated markets with the release of its October World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report this week, presenting bullish data that further underpins the strong prevailing prices. Traders expected to see cuts for Canadian wheat output in line with updates from local analysts. Prolonged spells of heat and dryness have been significantly damaging to the Canadian crop and the USDA now sees the crop total down to 21 million tonnes. This is down two million tonnes on last month and 14 million tonnes down on last year. The US wheat production estimate was lowered by 1.4 million tonnes in line with yield adjustments published on 30th September.

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

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Frontrunner - 8th October 2021

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Wheat markets continued to rise this week, supported by strong export trade and uncertainty over Russian wheat export capability. Paris wheat futures have set new contract highs, gaining over 10% in value since the 20th September. So far this season, from 1st July to 4th October, Brussel's trade data showed the EU had shipped just over eight million tonnes of wheat.

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 - 1st October 2021

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Paris and London wheat futures rallied to new contract highs this week, the jump in prices triggered by bullish wheat stocks and production data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). US wheat stocks estimates for the 1st September 2021 have been set at 1.78 billion bushels - 70 million bushels below average trade estimates and the lowest since 2007. The USDA also cut its 2021 US wheat production estimate by 50 million bushels from its previous estimate, down to a new total of 1.646 billion bushels. This is the equivalent of 44.79 million tonnes and, if realised, will be the smallest US wheat crop for 19 years.

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

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Frontrunner - 24th September 2021

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London wheat futures prices gained 3.5% from their low on Monday and came within £4/t of the contract high which was achieved in the middle of August. Following higher world market prices, there seemed no clear catalyst for the sharp price rise, but the latest export data from the EU and US was supportive.

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

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Frontrunner - 17th September 2021

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Late last Friday the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report; much in line with traders' expectations it produced neutral to bearish data. World wheat production is seen rising 3.7 million tonnes up to 780 million tonnes, with Australia up 1.5 million tonnes to 31.5 million tonnes and India up 1.52 million tonnes to 109.52 million tonnes.

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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Frontrunner - 10th September 2021

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FranceAgriMer updated its French wheat crop data this week with changes that highlighted the poor quality of its crop. Domestic and export milling specifications demand that grain specific weight meets at least 76kgs but only 30% of the crop is estimated to have reached that standard. Such poor French wheat crop quality is unusual; last season over 98% of France's crop met the minimum 76kgs standard. The Hagberg falling number (HFN) is also an issue, with only 67% meeting the minimum 220 specification.

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 - 3rd September 2021

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Earlier this week Statistics Canada (StatsCan) updated its country's wheat crop estimate, now seeing the crop falling to 22.95 million tonnes. This compares to 35.18 million tonnes last year and, if realised, will be Canada's smallest crop for 14 years. Persistent excessive heat and dryness for much of the growing season has slashed yield potential for Canada; one of the world's major wheat exporters.

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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Frontrunner - 27th August 2021

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In contrast to UK feed wheat futures, the Paris futures market has a milling standard specification. Under normal circumstances traders may elect to deliver physical wheat against their futures sales at harvest or buy futures as a hedge against milling wheat export sales they make.

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

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Frontrunner - 20th August 2021

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In its August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, the United States Department of Agriculture surprised markets last week with larger-than-expected production cuts for some of the world's major wheat and corn producers. After the report was released, strong wheat futures surged a further 5% to multi-year highs. However, fresh selling and speculators banking profits gathered pace throughout this week and wiped out the short-lived spike in 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, Sophie Powell. 

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Frontrunner - 13th August 2021

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its August World Agricultural Supply and Demands Estimates (WASDE) report on Thursday and presented some bullish surprises. Futures markets reacted with notable gains and US, Paris and London wheat futures all rallied to set new contract highs.

Having taken an overly conservative view of potential crop losses in its July estimates, this time the USDA made some aggressive production cuts. This was particularly the case for Russia where the USDA estimates the wheat crop will be as low as 72.5 million tonnes. This compares with its July estimate of 85 million tonnes.

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

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Frontrunner - 6th August 2021

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This week, the UK's oilseed rape harvest has continued making progress further up the country where weather has allowed. As mentioned last week, yield reports seem to be improving as harvest makes its way north. An increase on the widely estimated 3.3t/ha may well be seen before harvest with numbers as high as 5t/ha being reported in the Lincolnshire area.

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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Frontrunner- 30th July 2021

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Wheat long-holders in many areas can still achieve attractive premiums for old crop wheat as the market scrambles to find stocks to service late-season demand. In Scotland and the North of England particularly, wheat prices that are £30-40/t above harvest levels should encourage most sheds to be emptied as the country enters a new crop year with bare boards and minimal carryover. As wheat harvest started in the south this week, most merchants and consumers will breathe a sigh of relief as we come to the end of one of the smallest UK crop years in recent history.

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

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Frontrunner - 23rd July 2021

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Persistent hot and dry weather continues to damage spring wheat crops in the northern US states, particularly North Dakota and Minnesota. Weekly crop condition ratings slipped to 11% rated 'good to excellent', which is just one point above the worst condition rating on record in 1988. The area rated 'poor to very poor' increased on the week to 63% from 55% and this data propelled US spring wheat futures to new contract highs - their highest level since November 2012.

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 Powell.

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