Market Update 9th February 2024
The significant challenge in the market in recent weeks has been the impact of the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea pushing up freight rates as cargoes take a longer route and delays deliveries.  Whilst soya prices rise the market for beans remains surprisingly challenging as few mills are including beans in their rations as imported peas seem readily available.
Grain quality remains a challenge with some spring grains having poor bushel weights and requiring conditioning.  Feed grain values remain sub £300 delivered with ex values between about £255 and £280 with oats on the lower end of the range, wheat at the higher end and barley somewhere in the middle.  The demand for malting barley has improved and so barley stocks are lower than they were and several mills have been helpful in increasing barley usage to help use carried over stocks from last season.

We have been finding it hard to sell feed wheat.  Three separate influences on the market have occurred that have brought about this situation.  Firstly, there has been a drag in demand due to lower demand for organic food and so feed grain contracts have been rolled by feed mills holding long positions.  One importer chose to release a significant volume onto the market to clear their stock.  They did so at a considerable loss but it took liquidity from the market making it harder to make new sales and covered the New Year positions for several mills.  Finally, wheat that was grown on contract for Wildfarmed, but did not make the quality specification, was placed onto the market as inconversion wheat at a very attractive value and has been bought by some larger dairy farmers who home-mill.
In response to such challenges we need to consider how we provide greater volumes to buyers and need to look at pooling wheat and barley to provide attractive volumes to buyers and counter influence importers have on the market.  Whilst provenance is highly attractive to buyers it is only attractive if it can be supplied in large volumes.