Early in the week a Bloomberg headline about Brexit negotiations grinding to a halt, sent Sterling tumbling by 0.5 cent in one minute, which set the tone for the rest of the week. The announcement of inflation hitting 3% further weakened Sterling.
A relatively quiet week for UK wheat, and although prices have fallen £5 from their October highs, but export potential is still limited, being between £3 and 5 adrift from being competitive.
France confirmed mid-week the sale of 660,000 T of wheat to Algeria – usually a sure home for French wheat, however this year, the low and competitive price of Russian wheat is making the French push their prices ever lower to secure the business. France will need to keep competing to ensure that the stocks of its wheat do not weigh on the market too heavily.
Russia’s Sovecon agency has increased its estimation of the size of their exports to 44.5 million tonne, as the current pace is faster than previously estimated, which is in part supported by a further increased crop size; up nearly 2 Mln T to 83 Mln T.
European plantings for next season are progressing well, with France 47% complete. Whilst many farmers in the UK have completed their planting, a number in the west and Scotland have been delayed by poor weather, with harvest not fully in yet for some.
In Argentina, BAGE estimated maize plantings behind the average for the time of year, suggesting that plantings may be down, with a resultant switch to increased soya plantings.
The US soya harvest is over 50% complete, but behind the usual level of progress at this time of year, but the weather forecast is for fine dry weather for the next 10 days, allowing progress to speed up.
South American doomsayers are suggesting that the likelihood of a La Niña event has increased, and is rated as being 65% likely. If it occurs, event will change climactic conditions and affect the development of the growing crops, including soya.
On other matters, the cost of freight is rising, having risen for much of the last two weeks, but for how much longer?
GPS technology has enhanced many people’s lives, and for us we use it to find farms, and for our milling business to know exactly where our lorries are, and what their ETA is. Some sporting types use it to record their activities, and I for one use it to track my cycling, but have never managed to create any art with it. Anthony Hoyte painstakingly planned, and cycled 78 miles around some of the streets of Cardiff to create this somewhat ridiculous drawing on Strava.