Australian wheat woes worsen: Grain Market Daily

Friday, 18 October 2019

Market Commentary

  • UK feed wheat futures climbed yesterday on the back of Australian crop woes (read more below), prices have subsequently fallen this morning.
  • Globally concerns over southern hemisphere wheat will continue to be a key driver of price.
  • Following yesterday’s GASC tender, the Saudi Arabian state grain buyer (SAGO) has tendered for the purchase of 595Kt of milling wheat for delivery between February and March 2020.

Australian wheat woes worsen

UK feed wheat futures have gained £2.50/t this morning as Australian weather woes reach new levels. A forecast of Australian wheat production from National Australia Bank limited has pegged output at 15.5Mt, the latest forecast is 4.5Mt below the bank’s forecast from last month, and 2.5Mt below the latest USDA estimate.

The reduction in Australian production follows the ongoing drought conditions which have hampered crop development through the Australian spring. The outlook for rainfall in Australia remains stunted and the continued trend for dryness will be a key influencer of global grain markets for the coming months.

If the NAB forecast is realised, Australian exports of wheat could be limited to their lowest level since 2007/08 at 7.5Mt.

Will currency limit the impact for UK markets?

While the Australian woes have caused UK feed wheat futures (Nov-19) to spike yesterday, going forward the impact of Southern Hemisphere concerns on UK markets will be heavily dependent on developments in the House of Commons.

Parliament is due to sit tomorrow to debate and vote on the latest Brexit deal proposed by Johnson. Although there is still a long way to go with Brexit – recent developments have been view positively by foreign exchange markets with sterling at its highest point against the dollar since 13 May.

If a deal is agreed in Parliament this weekend sterling will appreciate further. As sterling rises the impact of movements in international markets on domestic markets is lessened and may represent a large risk for domestic grain and oilseed prices.

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