For the Future of Farming

Commodity Market Report 8th May 2019


After spiking up to a one-month high of 1.3180 last Friday, Sterling has been fading lower against the U.S $ and is now trading either side of 1.3040 as UK politics weighs. The US dollar is trading lower, yet the pair continue to slip as Brexit reasserts itself with talk that the UK will now take part in the European elections, that PM May’s leadership is under serious threat and that a second referendum is being openly discussed. Ongoing cross-party Brexit talks have produced no new ideas or plans, and it may be that the Labour Party now push for a General Election, another negative for Sterling. The Sterling / U.S. $ has traded with a positive Brexit premium built in over the last few weeks but this now seems to be gradually being priced-out. Current rates are $1.3044 and Euro 1.1647


The Soya complex hit new contract lows yet again this week, as the market continues to correct itself in line with the global Supply and demand (S&D). Can the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) get back down to the lows we saw back in March 2016 when the board was around $265ish? The carryout was nowhere near what we have today at 895 million bushels. Yes the trade war is certainly keeping a lid on the funds’ position as they are unclear what a deal could do to the overall S&D. It will still be very fresh in their minds when they got their fingers burnt after they were all long due to the small Argentinian crop, then the U.S. / China trade war happened and prices collapsed. Having said that you feel with all the problems China has with their demand being drastically cut due to African Swine Fever (ASF), it’s hard to see what China could do at the moment to change the bearish market sentiment. The funds will be wary in case China has to sweeten any deal by buying a huge volume of soybeans or even corn and tuck it away in the reserve stocks, therefore tightening up the S&D.

Overall the market is around £3 / tonne cheaper for the UK buyer week on week.

The Below graphs shows the May ’19 contract movements for CBOT Soybean meal futures.

Afbeelding: Soya 9.5.19

Rapemeal, Distillers and Maize Gluten

  • Farmer selling of Rapeseed is still slow. Winter losses in the UK are predicted to be in the region of 5-10%
  • Larger EU and UK ending stocks are likely to weigh on the market at some point, however with Brexit still unresolved, sterling is likely to remain volatile for the foreseeable future. This will be the main catalyst for price direction going forward.
  • There is still a question of whether China will look to buy Eastern European stocks as it did last year if it continues its trade war with the U.S.
  • Overall the Rapemeal market is down around £3 / tonne old crop and almost unchanged for new crop.
  • Maize distiller’s values have moved sideways over the past week or so with the slightly firmer sterling marginally easing values. Very high U.S. water levels means that movement of product is difficult from origination. However, if China and the U.S. resolve their trade war it is anticipated that values will firm rapidly due to the volume that they consume.
  • Maize Gluten values have again moved sideways over the past week. Major shipments are not due until late June and therefore we may see this market remain firm until then.


  • Hulls have now reached a level at which they are trading in volume. Nearby pressure is keeping the market in check but shippers are struggling to buy the deferred positions in volume at these lower values.
  • Sugarbeet values still remain firm compared to hulls due to the smaller crops this year produced by last summer’s dry conditions. However, due to the generally mild UK winter and reduced offtake there is still plenty available.

Grain, Maize, Wheatfeed, Biscuit meals and Bread

  • Wheat futures have eased week on week mainly due to the Funds driving the U.S. market lower and recent rains across Europe alongside sterling strengthening slightly.
  • Maize values have eased marginally mainly due to Sterling firming rather than any fundamental news. Despite it still being very competitive to wheat, high stocks are keeping to downward pressure on.
  • Wheatfeed values have firmed slightly for the summer as buyers are beginning to show interest in increasing their positions. It is perceived that it looks cheap versus other products offered in the marketplace.
  • Biscuit meal values track the wheat futures market and are therefore looking competitive to physical wheat.

Cereal values historical price graph. (£/t)

Afbeelding: Cereals 9.5.19

Market Prices 08/05/19

All prices Ex Port, subject to change without notice, please ring for quotes.

Red = Price Firmer
Green = Price Lower
Black = Price Same

Rapeseed Meal Ex Erith Ex Liverpool
May 183 188
June /Jul 184 187
Aug/Oct 180 183
Nov/Jan 188 193
Hipro Soya Ex Portbury Ex Liverpool
May 277 280
Jun / Oct 276 270
Nov / Apr 283 276


Soya Hulls Ex Portbury Ex Liverpool
May 127 122
Asa Jun / Oct 128 125
Nov / Apr 135 135
Whole Maize Ex Portbury Ex Liverpool
May 163 163
Jun / Oct 163 163
Nov '19 / Apr '20 164 164
Wheatfeed Pellets  
May / Sep '19 115  
Oct / Apr '20 127  
Imp Sugarbeet Ex Portbury Ex Plymouth
May 189 184
June / Oct '19 197 190
Maize Destillers Ex Portbury Ex Liverpool
May 211 211
Jun / Oct '19 194 194
London Wheat Futures   Weekly trend
May '19 156.95 3.05
Jul '19 158.80 2.05
Nov '19 144.50 1.25
Jan '20 147.00 1.25
Mar '20 149.30 1.00
May '20 150.75 0.75
Jul '20 157.10


Nov '20 148.60 0.65

The information contained herein is taken from sources we believe reliable, ForFarmers does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete and should be used for information purposes only. Market comments are the opinion of the author, and are not capable nor intended to create any legally binding obligations on either party.