Market Report

Thursday 5 March 2020


  • US prices are down around $6/t on the week, despite the US Federal Reserve cutting interest rates by 0.5% in an emergency move to shield the world’s largest economy from the impact of the coronavirus.
  • South American weather remains generally favourable, with good rains seen in Brazil, although some of the Argentine growing areas haven’t seen any significant precipitation during the past two weeks.
  • Grain sales in Argentina were at a standstill after media reports stated that the government would soon increase export taxes as it struggles to control its fiscal deficit, after the ministry suspended the registration of grain exports.
  • Russian wheat export prices registered a fifth consecutive weekly decline as benchmark prices in Chicago and the rouble weakened.
  • APK-Inform reported that Ukrainian grain exports had jumped to about 39.8mln t so far in the 2019/20 marketing season, up from 28.6mln t for the same period last season.
  • The Ukrainian Grain Association forecast the country’s 2020/21 wheat production at 28.8mln t which compares to 28.2mln t this season.
  • EU (Paris) futures are down €4.75/t on the week, although the sharp decline in the US$ has seen prices (in US$ terms) fall less than $1/t.
  • Late last week the AHDB released its initial UK balance sheet for the 2019/20 projection, a wheat balance (exports and closing stocks) of 4.53mln t, up from 2.4mln t a year ago. The sharp increase was due to an increased 2mln t in total availability and stable domestic demand.
  • UK futures prices are down just 25p/t (May20) on the week, although with the weaker US$, prices (in US$ terms) have fallen $1.50/t.
  • With the move in interest rates in the US, traders now look to see if the ECB and BOE follow suit at their meetings due in March.

Malting Barley

  • The coronavirus is having a negative impact on beer sales in many parts of the world.
  • The market continues to be bearish, expecting a big EU spring malting barley surplus.
  • The biggest increases in spring area could be in Scandinavia and, weather permitting, in the UK.
  • France continues to receive rain and has only sown around 25% of its intended spring area.
  • It is also very wet in Scandinavia and other parts of the EU, but at the moment, there are still no concerns around sowing dates.
  • It remains extremely wet in the UK, with winter now on record as being the fifth wettest ever and February recorded as the wettest ever.
  • We have seen a small amount of sowing in the light land areas of England, but even here they are well behind their optimum planting date.
  • Winter crops are generally looking average at best.


  • Another week in which the market was led by macroeconomic influences as coronavirus weighs on the world economy.
  • There is renewed hope of US soybean sales to China. There are signs that Chinese manufacturers are now increasing operations, as reported cases of coronavirus in China begin to plateau. The US Agricultural Secretary anticipated Chinese interest in US soybeans to pick up in late spring/early summer.
  • No change in South American weather. The Argentinian government raised export taxes on soybeans by 3% yesterday but has offered some compensation to small farmers. Attache increased its soybean crop estimates for Argentina up to 54.1mln t vs USDA at 53mln t. Whilst in Brazil, FC Stone increased its Brazilian soybean crop estimate up from 124mln t to 124.2mln t, which is still away from Informa’s estimate of 128mln t vs. the USDA of 125mln t.
  • Renewed Chinese interest is positive news for palm oil, which has suffered from reduced demand to its main export destinations of China and India. While the political situation between India and Malaysia, the world’s second largest palm oil producer behind Indonesia, are still ongoing, renewed demand from China is positive to the oil complex.
  • Crude oil has also been firming this week. A meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers is expected to lead to an agreement to reduce world production by 1mln barrels per day, while world demand dwindles on the back of COVID-19.
  • In Europe, the rapeseed market has also been a follower of outside influences, as a market lacking fresh news sought direction. Coronavirus pressures at the end of last week made way for crude oil support more latterly. Wednesday’s session saw Matif May 20 futures up €3, only to fall back €4 before the close.
  • In the UK, sterling has been the most important factor. A fall in the pound against the euro largely negated the fall in Matif at the end of last week, before further pressure on currency, along with a firmer Matif, supported UK farm gate prices.


  • The continued lack of farmer selling has seen the domestic market tick up for nearby short covering. The premium for +50kg Mascani has further widened vs all other varieties, due to February storms scuppering further drilling attempts of winter oats.
  • The next two months will be pivotal in the supply and demand scenario for the 2020/21 harvest, as the market now relies heavily on spring acreage. Poor drilling and growing conditions could severely affect the availability of milling oats for the coming season.


  • After having a breather for a week, UK bean prices have moved higher again, up £8/t at the time of writing, as a result of weaker sterling. There remains export demand for feed and human consumption quality beans, but this demand is limited to Egypt, with other destinations now turned off at these levels.
  • With little spring planting occurred to date, neither the trade or the grower are in any rush to sell new crop beans and trade is almost non-existent. Whilst spring bean plantings are expected to be significantly higher year on year, it is unlikely the same high yields as the 2019 season will be achieved due to the spring planting delays which should negate the higher spring area.
  • New crop pea buybacks remain available for marrowfats and large blue peas but are now in limited availability.


  • Hybrid OSR varieties are showing the benefit of spring vigour in this slow spring. Aurelia, our fully loaded hybrid with TuYV resistance, pod shatter and double phoma resistance, is looking exceptional. Delayed payment until June 2021 and an establishment risk share, in case of crop failure, make Aurelia a formidable package for sowing in autumn 2020.
  • A new variety of HOLL, V367OL gives growers a more vigorous and higher yielding alternative to V316OL. Limited amounts of V367OL are available to go with our buyback contracts for sowing in autumn 2020.
  • Spring barley stocks remain largely unchanged on the week; however, we are getting through RGT Planet faster than others.
  • ADM have a full range of cover crops available to restore some life back into soils after the past six months of weather. Talk to your farm trader for more information.


  • The global urea market has been active over the last week. North African urea has continued to firm with most recent trades at $260/t FOB Egypt. Spot supply is limited, and demand is still high from the US as well as other destinations. India is due to tender next week for around 1mln t.
  • In the UK, urea prices are climbing on the back of global supply/demand dynamics and the marginally weaker £/$ rate month on month.
  • CAN and AN prices have risen on the Continent. As we approach the usage period in the UK, prices are beginning to show potential signs of firming too.
  • Limited imported AN availability and weaker £/€ are indicating potential for firming in the UK AN market, as well as globally firmer nitrogen prices.
  • ALZON® neo-N continues to be the product of choice for farmers who are aiming to reduce soil compaction after continued heavy rainfall. ALZON® neo-N reduces applications and also protects nitrogen supply against extreme weather conditions. An incorporated duel inhibitor protects your nitrogen against losses in severe rainfall, compared to ammonium nitrate-based products. Speak to your farm trader today for more details.
£/€ £/$ €/$
1.1555 1.2935 1.1195
Feed Barley £ Wheat £ Beans £ Oilseed Rape £
Mar20 120-131 144-156 242-247 319-324
May20 127-136 147-157 245-250 321-326
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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