Market Report

Thursday 23 April 2020

COVID-19 – Safe transfer of grain passports and self-isolating

It is important that all farmers follow UK government advice with regard to sanitising and best practice. We strongly recommend all participants in the grain supply chain read this advice from AHDB

If farmers are quarantined or self-isolated for a period of time and therefore unable to load combinable crop sales or accept deliveries of seed or fertiliser, please advise your ADM farm trader as soon as possible and we can then delay the collection/delivery until the period of self-isolation is complete.

To date, the grain supply chain is working close to normality. All parts of the industry are working well together, and the situation is obviously under constant review and of the utmost importance in keeping the nation supplied. ADM Agriculture would like to thank all our customers for their ongoing support.


  • Markets have pushed on this week on the back of a tightening export scenario.
  • With Ukraine and Kazakhstan already operating under export restrictions, talk that Russia may soon follow suit gave the markets the impetus to move higher, as increased export demand may switch to the EU and the US.
  • However, as energy prices reel under a huge drop-off in demand, the knock-on effect of reduced corn (maize) usage in the ethanol industry has raised fears of a significant oversupply, which is likely to provide some resistance to higher wheat prices.
  • US prices are up $1-2/t on the week, supported by talk of export supplies tightening in the latter months of the marketing season.
  • USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported US winter crop conditions at 57% good/excellent, down from 62% last week, as frosts impacted upon quality in some of the hard red winter areas.
  • Russia has announced it will suspend grain exports until the 1 July 2020, when the current Q2 export quota is exhausted, which on current pace will be around mid-May.
  • EU soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations reached 27.2mln t as of 19 Apr, up 63% from the volume cleared by 14 April last year.
  • EU (Paris) futures are up almost €10/t on the week, supported by recent sales to Egypt, Russia’s export news and dry weather.
  • Rain is forecast in Europe and the CIS over the next two weeks. It is unlikely to be enough to significantly bolster soil moisture or reduce concern for crops that did not establish well last autumn.
  • UK (London) futures are up £6/t, supported by the firmer European markets and the continued dryness in the major cereal-producing areas.

Malting Barley

  • Bars and the hospitality sector remain closed, with talk of this possibly lasting for months to come.
  • Germany’s Ocktoberfest beer festival, which attracts around six million people, has been cancelled.
  • Beer sales continue to fall across the world reducing demand for malting barley.
  • UK brewers and maltsters continue to discuss sending more malting barley as feed.
  • Rain is needed for most of the EU and prices have increased slightly over the last few days.


  • Crude oil stole the headlines this week, trading in negative territory for the first time in history as investors were caught desperately trying to exit their long positions before May delivery day. As this was a technical weakness it hasn’t led to a crash in the oilseeds market, but it does show the effect this demand destruction we’ve witnessed over the last month can have.
  • US soybeans have been choppy over the past week. Disappointing export sales for the second week in a row pushed down prices to contract lows on Tuesday. Since then, sales of 198,000t to meet increasing demand in China lifted the market to close Wednesday near last week’s starting figure.
  • In Brazil, soybean export figures for March reached a record 13.5mln t despite reports of logistical issues. Moreover, figures for the first half of April show the country is on track for a record-breaking 14.5mln t of exports by the end of the month. A weak currency, together with a bumper crop over 120mln t, has been encouraging farmer selling.
  • Argentina continues to grapple with logistic issues. Dry weather is allowing harvest to progress, but is also causing water levels to drop, preventing cargo ships from loading to their full capacity. Heavy rains due next week are likely to flip the issue on its head.
  • Australian growers are now focused on drilling what they can. More rain in the forecast may give them the confidence to plant their intended area of canola for next season, with the aim of a large export programme.
  • In Europe, pressure from the very weak crude oil market has largely been offset by concerns over dry conditions. Ukraine, a major exporter to the EU, is expected to have a 14% drop in production compared to last year, with recent frosts also taking their toll. In the EU itself, Oil World is now estimating new crop production at 16.7mln t. This push-and-pull effect on demand and supply has seen MATIF futures decline €4 since Thursday last week.
  • Dryness in the UK is also beginning to become a concern.
  • As ever, currency is a huge factor in UK prices, and it is likely to be volatile in the coming weeks and months with Brexit negotiations and the uncertainty they bring set to get underway.


  • Milling oat prices have continued to run at season highs over the past week, as fresh ex-farm procurement remains steady and millers have demand into the end of the season.
  • The expectation remains for a large increase in 2020 oat plantings and production as many growers looked to spring oats as an alternative to undrilled winter crops. However, crops in the ground will need rainfall soon, especially in eastern regions.


  • Old crop bean prices continue to move higher as there are few beans left on farm and shippers have to pay up to cover shorts against existing sales.
  • North African importers appear to be reasonably well covered for the remainder of the old crop season and have little appetite for new purchases. With Ramadan starting this evening, demand on the export market is likely to be subdued over the next month.
  • New crop bean prices have firmed slightly as wheat futures move higher and the lack of recent rainfall in the UK and Europe starts to cast doubt on yield potential. New crop bean buybacks linked to London wheat futures and ADM’s marketing pools are still available.


  • We have Lumen spring OSR still available as an early maturing hybrid suited to later drilling. Next day delivery is also available.
  • Maize drilling is underway, and conditions are very good in the main. RGT Stewaxx is available for any last-minute top ups or cropping changes.
  • The hybrid rye, KWS Serafino, is exclusively available to ADM Agriculture for autumn 2020 planting. Serafino has the highest grain yield and an excellent whole crop yield, making this the perfect dual-purpose variety for all situations.
  • Need an early drilled wheat after OSR and fallow? KWS Parkin offers the best option in the true early drill window (1 Sept onward). Please call your farm trader for more details.


  • India continues to support global urea prices and it has now purchased 22% more urea in 2019-20 than the previous season.
  • India’s production capacity is down 7% since the beginning of lockdown. The country is expecting to tender again soon for another sizeable amount to help cover growing demand.
  • US prices remain firm also due to difficulties around spot availability and an overall shortage in the country.
  • UK spot demand is still significant as applications continue, supporting prices for products in high demand. Liquid fertiliser call-off periods remain unaffected by current circumstances at present.
  • There is a limited tonnage of ALZON® neo-N available over April/May delivery for those looking at ways to protect their crops nitrogen supply during these periods of unpredictable weather.
  • The pound is expected to remain volatile over the next couple of months. If bearish sentiment materialises, new season prices for imported fertilisers could be higher than many are anticipating.
£/€ £/$ €/$
1.146 1.237 1.079
Feed Barley £ Wheat £ Beans £ Oilseed Rape £
May20 125-135 150-160 245-250 305-310
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.

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