Frontrunner - 26th July 2019



  • Improving French wheat crop prospects

Record breaking high temperatures during June were thought to have been damaging for wheat crops across Europe and some analysts have now cut their estimates accordingly. Leading European analysts, Strategie Grains, reported in July that they cut the 2019 EU-28 soft wheat harvest by 2.2 million tonnes to 140.6 million tonnes. However, with their harvest 63% complete by 22nd July, yields in France are proving to be very encouraging. The French wheat crop is now estimated to reach between 38 - 39 million tonnes. This is notably above last year's drought which affected 34 million tonnes.

  • Russian wheat crop continues to fall

In contrast to the French wheat yield situation analysts are downgrading their estimates for Russian wheat production. SovEcon, one of Russia's leading agricultural consultancies, cut their latest estimate to 73.7 million tonnes. This is down from their previous 76.6 million tonnes.

  • Good quality for early cut UK wheat

The recent hot dry UK weather has ripened wheat crops more quickly than expected, allowing farmers in the South of England to begin their harvesting. Samples tested from the first cut wheat have high specific weight, reasonable Hagberg and varied protein levels which will meet milling specification. However, with high temperatures set to continue and plenty of rain in the forecast there are concerns about maintaining quality.


  • Feed barley

Barley harvest is continuing at a good pace from the south coast and up into Scotland. As previously reported, yields are positive and the latest Monitoring Agricultural ResourceS (MARS) crop report puts UK winter barley yields at above the five year average. Meanwhile, exports are continuing out of southern ports at a good pace ahead of the Brexit deadline at the end of October.

  • Malting barley

Positive yields for malting varieties are being reported, with variable quality reports. Craft is performing well across all quality specifications but some parcels of Venture are showing low screenings.

The spring barley harvest is underway and a handful of early sown parcels have been cut but at this stage it is too early to comment on grain quality. An unsettled forecast over the weekend will most likely mean that harvest pace doesn't pick up until later next week. 


  • 2019 harvest

The oilseed rape harvest started in England this week as warm weather helped to get combines rolling and crops off the field and into the store. It is early days and yields are very variable, but reports are coming in that yields appear to be better than the pre harvest expectations.

  • Europe

The harvest in Europe continues at a pace and the MATIF futures market has moved higher this week as northern European yields continue to underwhelm the market. The harvest in south east Europe is almost complete and the first cargoes of Romanian and Ukrainian rapeseeds are arriving in northern Europe now.

  • World markets

Weather in Canada and Australia continues to be beneficial to the developing crop and analysts are starting to talk up production from these two major exporters. The US soybean crop is growing with no additional weather problems to report. However, the planted area continues to be a major point of debate and the world markets will be watching the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on the 12th August.


  • Harvest imminent

The recent hot weather is bringing crops on rapidly. Yield prospects remain good. However, quality is more difficult to predict. Colour on early pea crops has been variable and it will still be a few weeks before we can gauge the all important bean quality. This outcome is crucial to determine the prices; good quality crop will boost human consumption exports and tighten the domestic market. Poor quality crop could push more supplies into the feed market, which is currently over valued from the compounder's perspective.

  • Planning for harvest 2020

Good yields and high prices could set off a boom in bean plantings for harvest 2020, particularly with the current difficulties with OSR production in the UK. Frontier is currently offering attractive terms for harvest 2020, basis feed beans quality for November collection at November wheat futures plus £25 per tonne. Please ask your local Frontier farm trader for more details.


  • Market update

Nitrogen markets remain slow as harvest gets underway. UK nitrogen prices are still at a discount to mainland Europe. However, European prices have moved up by €28.00 since 15th May (£25.00) compared to the UK which has only moved by £5.00/t since the first offer price.

  • Urea

Urea prices are still holding globally, with the recent large tender for 1.7 million tonnes of granular urea into India still rumbling in the market. India will require another 4 million tonnes and the French market (approx 1 million tonnes) has yet to make any purchases. All eyes are on the exchange rates £/$ before the UK buys and this could be a long time away.

Some growers have covered part of their requirements this week to hedge the risk of a change in exchange rates, with a new UK Prime Minister in place, and to ensure some cover in case we see no fall in prices soon given that global demand looks like it's in place into the latter end of the year.

  • Oilseed rape nutrition

Growers are making decisions to grow oilseed rape and therefore we have had increased interest in NS grades. Frontier offers CF Fertiliser's compound 'Sulphur Gold' 29N 20so3. Call your Frontier contact to discuss.

Oilseed rape establishment is key to the success of the crop and a cost effective starter fertiliser programme should be considered. One proven product is Diammonium Phosphate (DAP). We recommend adding AVAIL which is a phosphorous fertiliser enhancer designed to increase the availability of phosphorus to the crop. Also, consider adding Boron. Please discuss requirements with your Frontier specialist as selections needs to be made soon for a timely delivery.

View markets, set price alerts, manage contracts and take advantage of extended trading hours with
MyCropMarketing, Frontier's online grain marketing platform. 

Midweek market report - 31st July 2019
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