Market disruption ahead of Brexit

Market disruption ahead of Brexit
Liam O’Driscoll’s articulated tractor which he won at the European Ploughing Championships in Russia was a big attraction at last weekend’s De Courcey Harvest Working Day at Sandycove, Ballinspittle, Co Cork, where the organising committee had their picture taken with the huge machine.

A bumper UK grain crop, and fears that British exports could be cut off by a no-deal Brexit on October 31, will be new factors in setting grain prices this autumn.

Already, prices of both feed wheat and feed barley fell considerably in the UK during July. In the five weeks to July 25, the ex-farm feed wheat spot price fell by £11.20/t, to under £135 for the first time since September, 2017.

This was driven by a large supply outlook in the UK and globally.

The UK is likely to have a significant exportable surplus of wheat.

Similarly, barley prices fell (by £9.30/t) in anticipation of large supplies and an uncertain post-Brexit trade outlook, with the possibility of high tariffs on UK barley exports to the EU, which have averaged bearly 1m tonnes in recent years. Spot feed barley prices are now at their lowest point since September 2017.

For livestock farmers, cheaper native grains could counteract upward trends in US maize prices due to poor crop establishment and progress.

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