Markets gain despite ongoing turbulence

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Another turbulent week saw grain prices fluctuate. On Tuesday, March 21st May-24 UK feed wheat futures hit their highest point since February 7th but have eased back and the latest AHDB Grain Market Report (21st March) has May-24 UK feed wheat futures at £169.00/t and the Nov-24 contract at £189.00/t.

Despite various pressures, particularly highly competitive Russian wheat, prices gained slightly from last week.

Over the same period, rapeseed prices fared even better. Paris rapeseed futures (May-24) closed at €452.00/t, a gain of over €12.00, while the Nov-24 contract rose by a similar level to finish at €457.00/t.

This is their highest price since late November. Various concerns are contributing to what is a complicated picture.

Ranging South American forecasts are creating uncertainty in the market, seeing some support for Chicago soyabean prices. The Brazilian crop is being harvested it was reported on Friday 15th that the harvest is 62.3% complete. Despite the rapid start this year, progress is now marginally behind the same point last year of 62.9% according to consultancy Patria Agronegocios.

Meanwhile, although recent rainfall led forecasters to increase Argentine crop forecasts last week, they cautioned that heavy rain needed to stop soon to avoid damage to the crop. Heavy rain has persisted in Argentina this week, meaning worries about crop damage are being factored into prices now.

Closer to home there are concerns over 2024/25 European and Canadian production. Statistics Canada estimated a harvest 2024 area of 8.7 Mha, down 3% from last year.


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