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Market report - 5th February 2020

Grain-2

Wheat markets stage a mild recovery this week

Following losses of 4% during the last third of January, around £2 per tonne has been added to world wheat prices since the market closed on Friday.

There is little fresh news to influence prices but wheat exports from the EU and Ukraine continue to move at a strong pace. EU exports climbed to 16.4 million tonnes by the 2nd February, compared to just 9.9 million tonnes at the same time last year. Despite strike action hindering logistics, French ports shipped their biggest volume of wheat for six years during January. Ukraine is also ahead of last year but to a lesser extent. It has now shipped 15.9 million tonnes, 4.3 million tonnes ahead of last year.

US markets were tempered by confirmation from White House officials that the outbreak of the coronavirus is likely to delay the implementation of China's buying programme for agricultural products. Initially, this agreement formed part of the 'phase one' trade agreement which was signed on 15th January. Given current timelines, it is likely that any potential progress in this matter will have a minimal impact on the US supply and demand balance sheet for the 2019/20 season.

In the UK, a settled spell of weather in recent days has allowed many farmers to attempt land work. However, the worse rain affected areas are still impossible to cultivate and, with stormy weather forecast for the weekend, prospects for increasing UK wheat 2020 harvest availability look challenging. 

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