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Frontrunner - 26th August 2022

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Wheat prices moved higher early in the week in response to strong gains in US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn futures, which rose to a two-month high. Corn futures rose in reaction to disappointing results from the Pro Farmer Crop Tour as it progressed through the main corn-producing states. Iowa is the world's number one corn producer, yet yields from Western Iowa were reported at 181.12 bu/ac, which has fallen from 183.96 bu/ac last year and is lower than the three-year average of 183.47 bu/ac.

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

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Frontrunner - 19th August 2022

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London wheat futures fell to their lowest level for almost five months this week following the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report published late last Friday afternoon. The USDA increased its estimate for world wheat production by eight million tonnes on last month's estimate to a new world total of 779.6 million tonnes. If realised, this will be a record.

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 - 12th August 2022

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By the 7th August, EU wheat exports reached 2.49 million tonnes; this is marginally ahead of last year. However, Brussels state the data is incomplete and private analysts see shipments 30% ahead of last year. French shipments alone are thought to be at least half a million tonnes understated.  . Major world wheat importers have all sourced a significant proportion of their purchases from freely available EU supplies due to the continued challenges and restrictions on Ukrainian and Russian origins.

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 - 5th August 2022

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One grain ship leaving a Ukrainian Black Sea port was sufficient for world wheat futures markets to come under notable selling pressure this week. US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat fell to a six-month low.

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

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Frontrunner - 29th July 202

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This week, the world's wheat futures markets have recovered all the losses they took last Friday. Prices then fell sharply due to Russia and Ukraine signing a deal with Turkey and the United Nations (UN). The deal set out to ship trapped wheat and other grains and oilseeds from Ukraine's Black Sea ports.  However, the market is now reacting to the reality that shipping through these ports will, for some time, be a slow process as there are challenges in securing the resources needed to resume operations whilst the hostilities with Russia continue.

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 - 22nd July 2022

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After weeks of talks and negotiations, Turkish officials said that a deal to allow safe Ukrainian grain exports from Black Sea ports would be signed at a ceremony in Istanbul on Friday 22nd July 2022. Russia and Ukraine are reported to have reached agreement with the UN and Turkey although at the time of writing there has been no official confirmation from either Russia or Ukraine and the details of the agreement have not been released.

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 - 15th July 2022

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On Tuesday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its July updates to its World Agricultural Supply and Demands Estimates (WASDE) report. Revisions were relatively mild but continued long liquidation on futures markets was encouraged by increases to production estimates and stocks for US wheat and corn, as well as cuts to world demand figures for each commodity resulting in a higher stock than the previous month.

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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Field grain analysis can help determine the success of your fertiliser programme

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With harvest just beginning, now seems a sensible time to draw breath and assess the season before harvest gets in full swing followed in short order by establishing next year's crops.

And what a season it's been. Yes, there have been weather events to talk about, especially the dry April and for some also the first half of May and most of June, but these pale in comparison to the economic impacts we've seen in the last 12 months.No more so than in my world of fertiliser, where an initial new season price for AN back in June 2021 - at 81p/kg N (£280/t) - was considered by some to be too expensive, only to then rise dramatically during the season to an eye watering £2.68/kg N (£925/t) at the peak.

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Frontrunner - 8th July 2022

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The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) adopted a change to its method for wheat import purchases this week, entering into direct talks with exporters in preference to where it usually holds a general purchase tender. Egypt bought around 444,000 tonnes, adding to the 815,000 tonnes it bought last week, split between Russia with 214,000 tonnes, France with 170,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes from Romania. 

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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Frontrunner - 1st July 2022

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The General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) made its largest single wheat purchase for over 13 years this week, buying 815,000 tonnes for shipment during August, September and October. Last weekend, the Egyptian Minister for Supply and Internal Trade said his country needed to import ten million tonnes of wheat over the next six months while having secured 3.9 million tonnes from local farmers and having wheat reserves sufficient for almost six months.

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

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Frontrunner - 24th June 2022

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World wheat futures have fallen sharply this week, as highlighted by the US Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), for which wheat values declined almost 9.5% since last Friday's close. These losses have been driven by fears of demand destruction in light of failing economies, unaffordable high commodity prices and grain that remains trapped in Ukraine.

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 - 17th June 2022

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Late last Friday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its June World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report but it made few changes to the previous month's wheat and corn world balance sheets. However, markets rallied from the low levels of trading before the report, where traders had squared long positions in case of bearish data.

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 June 2022

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Recent market weakness has been driven by expectations that a solution will be found for releasing trapped Ukrainian grain for shipment through Black Sea ports. This week, meetings took place in Turkey with Russian officials to secure safe routes for grain exports. Russia said that Ukraine must demine approaches to ports and that Russian forces would check ships entering Ukrainian ports which could then load grain and proceed to international waters.

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 - 27th May 2022

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Wheat futures markets have again been volatile this week and have fallen sharply with losses extending by over 10% from the record highs reached earlier this month. Long liquidation and speculative selling gathered pace in response to newswire reports that Russia would provide a humanitarian corridor for vessels carrying food to leave Ukraine. Analysts estimate that over 21 million tonnes of grain will be trapped in Ukraine by the end of this season due to the Russian navy blockade of the country's Black Sea ports. The loss of Ukrainian grain supplies to the world's major importers has been the primary wheat price driver since the Russian invasion in February and has been the main element contributing to the prevailing global food crisis.

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 May 2022

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The world's wheat futures markets opened the week with another notable rise in prices, setting new record highs following the news that India would ban wheat exports with immediate effect. The Indian government reacted to fears of an intense heatwave during March which cut yields, sending the country's domestic prices to record highs.

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 May 2022

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report this week along with its eagerly awaited first look at the 2022-23 season. The report contained lower than expected production for US winter wheat and corn. Additionally, it outlined lower than expected world wheat stocks which sent markets sharply higher again. European wheat futures rallied again and set new contract highs.

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 - 6th May 2022

The primary price driver for the world's wheat markets continues to be the impact on supply chains resulting from the conflict in Ukraine. Traders have been assessing how the world's major wheat importers can source alternative wheat supplies and had found that India was able to fulfil some of the shortfall. India had been expecting to harvest a record wheat crop of up to 111.3 million tonnes, which would be its fifth consecutive year of record production. Furthermore, its wheat exports had the potential to reach eight 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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Nitrogen guidance for milling wheat


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At this time of year, I'm often asked: "How much nitrogen should I apply to my milling wheat crops?" My tongue-in-cheek response to that question is often: "Tell me exactly how much your crop is going to yield and then I'll be able to give you a guide on nitrogen rates." Now, clearly it is impossible to know the exact yield you are going to achieve at this stage so a definitive answer will always be hard but even so, I believe all milling wheat growers should fully understand the impact yield has on the nitrogen requirement for their crops.

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Minimising nitrogen losses in your fertiliser programme

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Last year, I wrote a blog on how to increase nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) to improve your farm efficiency rating and part of this looked at the impact of nitrogen losses.Following on from this DEFRA recently announced a non-regulatory approach which outlines how to reduce ammonia emissions from any urea-based fertilisers.

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Frontrunner - 29th April 2022

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There are new contract highs for 2022 European new crop wheat futures this week, as markets continue to react to the longer-term threats to Black Sea wheat supplies - particularly those from Ukraine. The London November 2022 contract passed £300/t for the first time and the old crop May 2022 contract set a new record with a high of £332.20/t.

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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