Market Report

Thursday 30 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.


  • The saying ‘rain makes grain’ has been applied to this week’s market. After weeks of being supported by continued dryness, the forecast of improved moisture across much of the northern hemisphere has weighed on values.
  • In addition, uncertainties over demand during the ongoing coronavirus epidemic and the fact that US farmers had an excellent week sowing crops also put pressure on prices.
  • It now remains to be seen if a couple of weeks of wetter weather can sufficiently offset the sustained period of near-drought conditions in both in the EU and the UK to deliver a positive effect on yield.
  • US new crop prices are down $9/t on the week on reports of more favourable weather in the EU and Black Sea region.
  • USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has reported a surprising 3% fall in US winter crop conditions, rating 54% as good/excellent. Recent colder weather and frosts apparently caused more damaged than initially envisaged.
  • US farmers have made a brisk start to this season’s spring sowing campaign, planting 27% and 8% respectively of the intended corn and soybean areas.
  • China is preparing to purchase more than 30mln t of crops for stockpiling to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions and make good on pledges to buy more US crops.
  • Russia will suspend grain exports until 1 July, but only after the grain it has declared in its second quarter quota (7mln tonnes) has been shipped.
  • Kazakhstan has increased its wheat export quota for May to 250,000t from 200,000t in April, and has more than doubled its flour export quota to 150,000t.
  • The EU Commission has applied an import duty of €5.27/t for maize which started on 27 April, ending a period of zero tariff for maize entering the EU.
  • EU (Paris) new crop futures have fallen €8/t on the week following the fall in the US market, as much needed rainfall is seen bringing relief to winter and spring crops after weeks of dryness.
  • UK (London) new crop futures have fallen £7/t on the week, following the global trend and amidst signs of declining demand within the UK’s industrial and feed sectors. Rain has fallen in most areas of the UK, but more is needed and is forecast.

Malting Barley

  • The EU malting market was firmer at the start of the week over dry weather concerns.
  • EU and UK maltsters booked a small amount of new crop tonnage.
  • However, in the last two days most areas have received much needed rains.
  • Prices have since slipped back and buyers have disappeared.
  • Most areas of the UK have also seen good amounts of rainfall although East Yorkshire is very dry.
  • All areas will need more timely rains in the coming weeks.


  • Following on from last week, crude oil was again the main news story as it continued to decline in the early part of the week before showing the first signs of recovery with worldwide production cuts expected to start on 1 May.
  • In the US, soybeans have drifted lower this week as a lack of fresh news together with aggressive Brazilian selling has weighed on prices. Hopes of Chinese demand are giving the market underlying support but confirmed sales in volume will be needed soon if the US is to reach its export target.
  • In South America, Brazilian soybean exports are said to be running normally again, after pressure from growers to execute the record sales numbers and a desire to keep the struggling economy running has been hampered by constraints caused by Covid-19. In Argentina, low water levels on the Parana River, which gives access to most of the nation’s port facilities, has continued to cause problems loading vessels. There is rain in the forecast this week, but it may not be enough to help in the short-term. Even with dams opening to help ease pressure, it is likely to take weeks before operations can run at capacity again.
  • World veg oils have firmed this week, with both soy oil and palm oil recording gains over the last few days to shadow changes in crude oil. However, USDA will release its fats and oils report for March on Thursday evening with trade expectations of lower ending stocks implying record usage of soy oil during the economic shutdown, which has led some to question the trade estimates and may weigh on veg oil prices.
  • European rapeseed remains a follower of world veg oils and weather reports. While the former has been supportive this week, rain in the forecast has put pressure on prices to leave futures €1.00 lower than a week ago.
  • In the UK, welcome rains have been helpful to a rapeseed crop that endured a torrid winter, though any meaningful change in prices is still dependant on currency. With Brexit negotiations taking place over video link, and GDP figures yet to be released for Q1 in either Europe or the UK, the pound is likely to be choppy over the next few weeks.


  • Markets for old crop beans are disappearing quickly as shippers are now covered against existing sales and there are few domestic bids. With a large inverse to new crop it is likely that prices may drift lower.
  • Rainfall in the UK is well received for the recently planted spring crops. This has increased confidence in the crop. With wheat futures lower and sterling firmer, new crop bean prices have weakened slightly on the week.
  • New crop bean buybacks linked to LIFFE wheat futures remain available and the marketing pool for pulses is still open.


  • Put some life back into your soil over summer on any fallow areas with a cover crop. ADM has a range of readymade mixes and can cater for bespoke needs. Please click here to view the ADM Agriculture cover crops brochure.
  • Please remember that for game cover seed orders, delivery times are running slower than normal due to the increased demand on the delivery network due to Covid-19. Place orders in good time to avoid disruption to your drilling plans.
  • Predicting a later harvest than normal due to delayed planting, we have a selection of over-yeared varieties ready to be treated to order and delivered on farm early. Call your farm trader for more information.
  • To maximise margin on growing OSR, our HOLL buyback contracts offer additional premiums to growers for no extra work. V367OL is available for this autumn, with improved autumn vigour and gross output potential, over the current market leader V316OL.


  • UK urea is available for spot delivery whilst wet, cold weather has opened an opportunity for growers to apply urea again. We have therefore seen a surge in demand recently, above usual levels for this time of year.
  • UK ammonium nitrate prices have remained stable through April and are anticipated to do so through May as growing conditions improve. European AN levels are supportive of current UK prices.
  • ALZON® neo-N is available also for spot delivery for those wanting to protect their crops nitrogen supply from adverse weather whilst using a 46% urea. Tonnages are limited, however.
  • Currency continues to remain volatile as markets assess the economic impact of coronavirus through economic data. As a pivotal factor to imported UK fertiliser prices, weakness in sterling would inevitably increase prices in the UK.
  • Natural gas prices are higher month on month today, trading back at around January levels. As a significant cost of nitrogen fertiliser production, further gains on the commodity as demand returns could push nitrogen fertiliser prices higher.
£/€ £/$ €/$
1.148 1.249 1.0875
Feed Barley £ Wheat £ Beans £ Oilseed Rape £
May20 123-133 147-157 230-235 297-302
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