GB harvest is nearing the end: Grain market daily

Friday, 29 September 2023

Market commentary

  • UK feed wheat futures (Nov-23) closed yesterday at £190.35/t, down £1.65/t on Wednesday’s close. New crop futures (Nov-24) closed at £201.65/t, down £0.55/t over the same period.
  • Our domestic market was pressured with both Chicago and Paris wheat markets. In Chicago, there was some position squaring ahead of the USDA quarterly stocks survey results out today. The Paris market dropped on Thursday as the euro strengthened, and competitive Black Sea supplies also continued to pressure the market.
  • Paris rapeseed futures (Nov-23) closed yesterday at €445.00/t, down €7.25/t on Wednesday’s close. Pressure came from Chicago soyabeans, which fell as the rally in crude oil paused and traders await the USDA quarterly stocks data for further direction.

GB harvest is nearing the end

Today we released the sixth and final GB harvest report for 2023 harvest. The report shows that over the last two weeks harvesting continued to progress in Northern regions, with the harvest of winter wheat, winter barley, oats, and oilseed rape (OSR), all now 100% complete.

The only crop remaining is spring barley which is 99% complete, as there is a small proportion of fields remaining in Scotland and the North East of England.

2023 harvest has been a mixed bag, with a large degree of variance in weather and quality across all crops and regions. Crops needed drying in every region from significant rain, which is a stark contrast from last year when a minimal amount of 2022 harvest would have been dried.

  Image showing GB harvest progress 2023

Progression was slow at the start of harvest and didn’t really ramp up until week 5 when there was a break in the weather. This allowed for spring barley, winter wheat and oats harvesting to progress at rapid paces.

As far as quality goes this year, as mentioned it’s mixed, but initial information from these harvest reports isn’t disastrous. However, notably as harvest progressed Hagberg Falling Numbers for winter wheat started to fall.

Spring barley and winter OSR yields appear to be below their 5-year averages. However, for other crops yields are in line with their averages.

GB average yield information from report 6 is summarised below:

  • Winter wheat yields are estimated at 7.8 – 8.2 t/ha, sitting around the five-year average.
  • Winter barley yields are estimated at 6.2 – 7.2 t/ha, sitting around the five-year average.
  • Spring barley yields are estimated at 5.2 – 5.5 t/ha, this has continued to reduce since report 5, and is sitting below five-year averages. Also note, harvest is not yet complete for this crop.
  • Combined winter and spring oat yields are estimated at 5.0 – 5.4 t/ha; the range has tightened as harvest progressed.
  • Winter OSR yields are estimated at 2.8 – 3.0 t/ha, this is below the five-year average. Lower yields were primarily a result of inclement weather during the growing season, as well as significant pest damage in some regions, particularly from Cabbage Stem Flea Beetle (CSFB).

Harvest 2024 will soon be here

Harvest 2024 will soon be here, and preparation is already underway. In the last harvest report for 2023, it is noted that sowing of winter oilseed rape started in mid-August and has continued into September. However, establishment has been variable following a period of hot and dry weather at the beginning of September, as well as crops in several regions already being damaged by CSFB and slugs.

Drilling of winter cereals started from mid-September; however, planting progress has been slow in most regions due to wet conditions.

Insight into planting for 2024 will be released later this year in our Early Bird Survey. The sixth and final harvest report is linked here with a full break down for all crops.

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