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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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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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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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REMINDER: The new urea application rules for England are almost here

Many of you will be aware of the urea stewardship scheme due to come into force in England from 1st April 2024, however, for some there are still questions as to what the new regulations include.

Back in May 2023 when an early announcement was released about the rules, I outlined everything you needed to know. In this blog, I think some of that information is worthy of a recap, particularly why Defra is focused on the stewardship of urea fertilisers, as well as a reminder of what you need to do in certain scenarios to stay compliant with the regulations. 

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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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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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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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Early nutrition strategies for winter cereals: challenges and solutions

The recent wet and mild conditions have brought early crop nutrition into sharp focus and you may be looking to address some of the negative impacts on any autumn-drilled cereal crops.

During autumn 2023, most of the UK experienced significantly above average rainfall and this depleted soils of any residual nitrogen. There's also no doubt that rooting was compromised due to waterlogging. 

This blog is a combination of insights and guidance for crop nutrition, variable rate technology and biostimulants – all of which can play an important role in your spring strategy to boost biomass and maximise profit margins. If you follow some of the below guidance, any lacklustre crops should stand the best chance of turning things around in time.

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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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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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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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  1143 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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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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  1327 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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  1253 Hits

Frontrunner - 5th January 2024

The new year hasn't been positive for wheat markets. Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) opened on the first trading day with heavy losses, as speculative funds started to rebuild short positions. European markets followed US markets lower, with Paris wheat futures setting 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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  1342 Hits

Frontrunner - 15th December 2023

This week world markets dropped lower, ending last week's strong run of prices in US wheat futures.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) has lost almost half the gains it made after China purchased 1.1 million tonnes of US wheat, meanwhile Black Sea origins reinforced dominance 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, Sophie Whiteman. 

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  1389 Hits

Frontrunner - 8th December 2023

This week, China - the world's largest wheat producing country - has put pen to paper with US wheat exporters. Published sales data showed US traders selling around one million tonnes of US wheat to the country and in the process triggered a sharp price rally. As a result of this, the short covering launched Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) futures 15% higher from the previous week's multi-month 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, Ollie Wilson.

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  1393 Hits

Frontrunner - 1st December 2023

Earlier this week, Paris wheat futures dropped to their lowest level in over two years following disappointing export news.

Up to Sunday 26th November, the latest trade data from Brussels put EU wheat exports up to 11.995 million tonnes - 18% behind last year when 14.677 million tonnes had been shipped in the same period. 

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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  1372 Hits

Frontrunner - 24th November 2023

World wheat markets have come under further selling pressure this week, with little to no fresh bullish features to be seen.

Whilst demand slows, an improvement in the weather and crop ratings has encouraged speculative funds to build on their short positions in agricultural markets.

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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  1390 Hits

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