This week has seen strong drives in many of the markets. UK wheat price has increased dramatically over the last 2 weeks.
Surpassing contract highs seen almost a year ago the market continued to almost £10 higher, to a record £162.50. The market in the UK started this lift following the US market on news of weather concerns including Germany and Poland see possibly seeing reductions in their wheat crop from overly warn weather in northern Europe and similar news in the black sea regions. Continued EU discussions and currency continues to pressure the UK market, with the pound dropping to lows against the dollar not seen for 7 months.
Pressure continued into the end of the week as the USDA report grew nearer. The funds took positions and the report did nothing to reduce this market rise. Although it released figures showing increased 18/19 global wheat ending stock predictions, due to higher 17/18 carry in, a lower production value was seen. However the overall feed grains saw a 3Mln T reduction in end stocks, driven at least in part by lower global 18/19 maize ending stocks and increased usage figures. Chicago wheat bounced up on the Russian wheat number reductions from 72Mln T to 68.5Mln T (85Mln T in 17/18) but is now back to decline as again the US tariff statement creates a nervous reaction in the trade. Tension remains high.
Soyabeans have continued to trend lower, in a pattern seen over the last 3 weeks to a low not seen since March 16. This level is something not expected by many in the trade and is mostly driven by a lack of Chinese activity in the market, with increased pressure by weakness in both the Brazilian and Argentine currencies. With original expectations that the US and China trade dispute would be settled by now, the export market has become greatly retracted. With the USDA reports placing 17/18 ending stocks above previous reports and trade estimates downward pressure increased into the end of the week. Despite the USDA supply and demand report outlining not insignificant reductions in global soya inventories, focused mainly around the main exporters, the trades focus remains on selling due to trade tensions.
Do you remember when you were young playing with swords made of card and telling your parents you were going to own a castle? Well for Dr Mark Baker, 33, he was right! After playing in the grounds of Gwrych Castle, Abergele, North Wales as a child, he recently bought the castle to try and save it from its decline into neglect. But this story is more the story of a long-term battle to save a place of childhood dreams for future generations than what money can buy. You see at age 11 this same boy set up a trust to save this castle and at just 14 wrote a book called the Rise and Fall of Gwrych Castle.
Now after over 20 years, and just one day before it was due to be auctioned, he was able to secure funding from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to buy the castle, which was built between 1812 and 1822 by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh. With its 1,500ft stretch of front walls, 18 towers, parkland views and a main house with around 120 rooms it certainly has the wow factor. But it is safe to say this adventure is not over with the castle having been in gradual decline since 1946, Dr Baker and the trust, plan to restore and open the castle to the public in a project expecting to take at least another 10 years.