Market Report

Thursday 15 October 2020

Sampling – Harvest 2020

Knowing the quality of crops is especially important this year so if you have not already done so, please contact your farm trader to arrange for sample bags to be sent to you. Once you have samples ready, we will collect them and the results will be available via our online portal, ADM 365, or from your ADM farm trader.


  • Weather issues are firmly in the driving seat, making for a quiet week on global markets.
  • USDA’s report at the end of last week provided few surprises for wheat and continued to confirm abundant global stocks.
  • The effect of weather on new crop prospects remains the key concern, with dryness in the US and Russia the main focal points.
  • In addition, the potential for government intervention in Russia and perhaps Ukraine could tighten exports over the second half of the season and underpin prices. However, the arrival of Australian wheat will provide resistance to higher values.
  • US wheat prices have fallen about $4/t on the week as the earlier rally encouraged some long-holders to bank the profit.
  • USDA reported supportive corn and bean numbers and an expected drop in US stocks, but increased global ending stocks mainly on an upward revision of the Russian wheat crop.
  • Weather remains dry in the US southern plains where moisture levels are depleting rapidly. It’s the same in parts of southern Russia and Argentina. Most parts of the Ukraine have had rainfall over the past week.
  • SovEcon reports that current dry weather may reduce winter wheat sowings by 10-15%, mainly in the central part of the country.
  • More immediately, Russia is expected to export around 50mln t of grain in the current marketing season, up from a previous estimate of 45mln t, although trade still awaits further news on expected export quota for Jan-Jun 2021.
  • The country had exported 11.6mln t of wheat as of end-September), down 3% on the year.
  • Ukraine’s grain traders union (UGA) has lowered its forecast for the 2020 grain crop due to poor weather and an expected fall in corn output. It puts the wheat crop at 25.3mln t, barley at 8mln t and maize at 32.5mln t.
  • Ukraine’s grain exports have fallen 14% on the year to 13.1mln t, due to lower exports of maize. Wheat exports seen at 9.2mln t, down from 9.77mln t.
  • France’s agriculture ministry has cut its estimates of the country’s 2020 maize crop to 13.5mln t, compared with 14.1mln t last month. The wheat crop has been trimmed from 29.5mln t to 29.2mln t.
  • In the UK, the market has remained virtually unchanged over the past week. Signs of sellers looking to place wheat had pressured delivery premiums in the spot position, but these seem to have dried up, with premiums edging back higher.

Malting Barley

  • The resurgence of coronavirus in many parts of Europe is forcing many countries to shut down bars and other areas of the hospitality sector.
  • Brewers are revising their sales forecasts down again, which means less malting barley will be needed as we head into winter.
  • Maltsters are concerned that their malt deliveries may slow down which will affect barley deliveries.
  • The EU market is very quiet apart from in France which is seeing strong demand from China.
  • We have seen a lot more UK sellers in the market this week mainly for October to December period.
  • There is more interest in contracting crop 2021. Please contact your local farm trader for contract details.

Feed Barley

  • Barley remains supported again on the week, with global values firming
  • There appears to be good demand for barley, with consumers in the UK stepping in to take cover for the remainder of the season.
  • Buyers are present in Holland/Spain for coasters ex UK, keeping the east coast in particular as an area of high demand. Meanwhile, we are seeing some more interest from North African destinations.
  • The new crop barley market has started to establish itself at £15+ under physical feed wheat nationally.


  • Outside markets continue to be volatile given recent Covid-19 developments, economic stimulus bills and the upcoming US election.
  • US weather shows some showers in the 5-day forecast, with temps falling below normal in some regions, but dry where harvest is still progressing. There is more rain in the long-range 6-10 day forecast, mostly in Mississippi.
  • Soybean prices saw a setback on Monday, with a lack of news coming out of the US due to the USDA being off for Columbus Day. Funds saw this as an opportunity for profit taking.
  • USDA has since reported the US soybean harvest at 61% complete vs. 38% last week (23% last year/42% 5-year average). Crop conditions fell from 64% good/excellent to 63%, with some crop concerns developing in Illinois.
  • Parts of Brazil have now seen rain but the amount is below expectations. Planting progress still remains a concern, put at 3% nationally vs. 11% last year. In Argentina, farmer selling is slow as farmers hold on to soybeans as a hedge against inflation,. This may cause a domestic supply issue.
  • China remains a keen buyer. USDA announced a further sale of 264,000t of beans on Wednesday.
  • Given the bullish USDA report last Friday, managed funds continue to increase their net long in soybeans to 244,000 contracts.
  • Matif rapeseed firmed at the end of the week, but followed US markets lower on Monday. Prices have struggled to get back to highs, despite lower plantings in Ukraine and France’s agricultural ministry reducing its country’s 2020 harvest estimate to 3.3mln t (32% below the 5-year average).
  • UK prices weren’t helped by a firmer pound, which rallied due to an increased likelihood of an EU trade deal, although this is still far from certain.


  • The UK pulse market has been relatively quiet this week. Prices have eased slightly as the shippers are fairly well covered for October commitments and there is little fresh interest on the export market at these levels. Feed beans theoretically calculate as a protein source into domestic diets, but with many customers formulating their winter rations many months ago, there are question marks regarding the amount of demand we will see.
  • Australian faba bean prices have fallen sharply this week as harvest is underway in the north and there has been an increase of farmer selling. As a result, the UK remains outpriced into Egypt. Prices are falling in Sudan as UK sellers look to market UK beans in this destination, and as a result it is very unlikely that prices for human consumption beans will move higher from here.
  • New crop pulse buybacks are available. Please contact your farm trader for further information.


  • Winter wheat seed is still making its way onto farm between showers. Our stocks are constantly changing due to limited supply, so please speak to your farm trader for the latest updates.
  • Winter beans – a derogation down to 70% germination was approved this week. This will allow orders to make their way onto farm in the week commencing 19 October.


  • Nitrate prices have firmed on the international market since the summer and are forecast to continue into Q1, considering UK post Brexit tariff proposals.
  • CF terms are still missing from the market place. New terms are expected within the next seven days.
  • Record wheat plantings are forecast as drilling moves closer to completion, suggesting a large N application market.
  • The break-even ratio (cost of N divided bu wheat value in p/kg) is at a long-term low. Historically, this is a clear signal for making nitrogen purchases.

£/€ £/$ €/$
1.104 1.2925 1.1705
Feed Barley £ Wheat £ Beans £ Oilseed Rape £
Nov20 139-144 178-188 206-211 342-350
NB: Prices listed may vary depending on area.

NB: Prices quoted are indicative only at the time of going to press and subject to location and quality.

“Although ADM Agriculture take steps to ensure the validity of all information contained within the ADM Agriculture Market Report, it makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of such information. ADM Agriculture will have no liability or responsibility for the information or any action or failure to act based upon such information.”

ADM Agriculture cannot accept liability arising from errors or omissions in this publication.

ADM Agriculture trade under AIC contracts which incorporate the arbitration clause.

Terms and Conditions of Purchase.

On every occasion, without exception, grain and pulses will be bought by incorporating by reference the terms & conditions of the AIC No.1 Grain and Peas or Beans contract applicable on the date of the transaction. Also, we will always, and without exception, buy oilseed rape and linseed by incorporating by reference the terms & conditions of the respective terms of the FOSFA 26A and the FOSFA 9A contracts applicable on the date of the transaction. It is a condition of all such transactions that the seller is deemed to know, accept and understand the terms and conditions of each of the above contracts.

Latest Tweets

Follow Us

Get updates

Registered Office:
5 Hercules Way, Leavesden Park,
Watford WD25 7GS.

Company Number: 904957