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Weekly Commodity Report 21st April 2019

The trading on the May UK wheat contract picked up this week in line with expectations ahead of the notice period (end of the contract) but was still lower than needed to clear the May 19 contract ahead of the long weekend. Anything could happen on Tuesday. The May 19 wheat finished the week at £163.25/T, although the week has traded sideways with help from currency exchange rates deflecting some of the losses seen in other countries. The delay to Brexit saw Sterling fall from its recent highs. The `Old to New’ crop price differential continues to hold but with the May contract at its end and many consumers, especially in the ruminant sector, over bought due to the pleasant weather reducing demand. The November futures closed the week at £148 despite some positive signals near the weeks end. The differential is £15 on the physical markets, but in our area, the differential for physical grain is £23.


US Wheat continued to experience selling pressure this week. Chicago wheat futures fell over 1% this week to a one month low. Generally favourable crop conditions on top of high stocks, and lower than expected export figures continues to push prices down as expectations of abundant global supplies continue. The US has been working hard to boost its sales, hosting wheat buyers from countries such as Morocco and Tunisia to demonstrate the reliability of the US grain infrastructure.

Expected bumper black sea crops add to the US woe for the coming season. Russian interior prices are rising and EU exports are now only slightly below last season as European prices ease this week. French wheat did not feature in the recent tender with Egypt, due to recent poor quality issues. New crop prices are also under pressure in Europe with the expectation of a strong 2019 production figure, with Germany and Russia confirming this with recent increases of 21 and 17% respectively year on year. Russia is now expecting around 83.5 Mln T.


Soya bean markets slid throughout the last week following uninspiring US weekly export figures well below the trade’s expectations at 280,400 tonnes. There is mounting pressure from the South American crop as Argentina is expecting a bumper harvest of 55 Mln T of soya this season (last year 40 Mln T). Both the Buenos Aires Grains exchange and Rosario exchange increased estimates of the crop citing mild weather over the Pampas farm belt had boosted yields over the last few weeks. While the US remains less fortunate with the second “bomb cyclone” blizzard limiting movement and processing of both soya and maize around the Midwest. It was also noted this week that despite the trade war China was still the biggest market for US soya beans in the first half of this marketing year showing other countries have not filled the void as the US had hoped would happen.

Many think men’s obsession with grooming is a modern concept, but the history of the humble egg shows men have historically not only worked hard to look their best but used the power of the egg to help them.  Men’s grooming and skin care has its origins in the word “cosmetae” which was used to describe Roman slaves whose function was to bathe men in perfume.  But men have been grooming with scented oils since as early as 10,000BC. 


The Ancient Chinese used gum, gelatine, beeswax and egg to stain their fingernails dependent on social class.

Egyptians were very particular about their physical appearance and wealthy citizens of either gender, including Cleopatra, applied face masks including egg white to tighten pours and provide a youthful look.

In the 17th century while ladies mixed eggs with lemon juice and Cognac to prepare the skin for the heavy make-up, the author Randal Homes wrote that barbers would use soothing lotions such as “Agyptiacum” after shaving, but in the case of shaving rash, raw egg rubbed on the afflicted would “take the fire out of the burn”.  But even the face powder contained eggs ground with toilet water .

Eggs continue to be used in some skin care products to this day.

Brought to you by Melanie Blake and Martin Humphrey.