Market update - March


Proteins- Rapemeal prices have come back slightly but the Feb/Apr and May/Jul premium is still growing over the Aug/Oct.  This is unlikely to change now after the supply issues on the continent. Looking ahead to the Aug/Oct, there are very little feed beans or distillers available to compete against rapemeal for that period and with prices now sub £190, many compounders are looking to bring in more rapemeal into their diets which suggests that prices do not really need to come much lower now.

Soya has been moving around within the same small range with little fresh news available. Currency has improved slightly which helped prices get back to around £290 for the summer and nearby.

Energies/Fibres- Soya Hulls for the summer and next winter look good value against sugarbeet and barley at the moment. Ground Maize has dropped back to allow it to compete against the barley which is on farm.

Milling Wheat

On 28th February, Bartholomews hosted a Milling Wheat conference at Sparsholt College Hampshire to inform farmers on how the wheat market will look over the coming year. We invited three external speakers to discuss the forces that are at play for the local and international milling markets.  In addition, our grain marketing team addressed the closure of Hovis Southampton, and the healthy demand for UK milling wheat both at home and abroad.

Julius Deane of Carr’s Flour Mills covered UK milling wheat demand, and the agronomic factors that allow southern UK farmers to grow the best wheat in Britain. Julius also touched on building strong relationships across the agricultural supply chain “Cooperation within the supply chain crucial for procuring quality milling wheat from South Coast UK to Scotland”.


Luis Villamayor, Director of the Spanish Millers Association provided insight into the importance of choosing the right varieties to meet demand of Spanish consumer markets. “We cannot stress enough the importance of choosing the correct Group 3 soft wheat, and the characteristics identified using the Chopin alveograph”.

Finally, Tim Lennon, Trading Manager of Cooney Furlong gave an EU perspective on alternative feed grain markets versus UK feed wheat exports. “UK feed wheat growers need to be aware that they are competing with much cheaper EU corn imports into Ireland for new crop 2019”.

Bartholomews Senior Trader, Martin Perry

Bartholomews Senior Trader, Martin Perry

In summary, Bartholomews Senior Trader Martin Perry demonstrated the what milling wheat markets are available to the UK farmerm and how Bartholomews are prepared for the challenge ahead. “With robust demand for all quality grades, Bartholomews have strong trading relationships with end-users to place all available surpluses of milling wheat”.

Due to plenty of discussion between the audience and speakers alongside expert analysis, farmers left the conference more informed on how they should navigate the demanding markets and price volatility expected over the coming year.