Grain Market Daily

Daniel Rooney


Daniel Rooney, Analyst, AHDB Market Intelligence, 02476 478840



Frost risk for European winter wheat

Winter wheat across large swathes of western and southern Europe could be at risk of winter kill if a severe frost strikes according to the latest EU MARS crop bulletin. The first six weeks of 2018 have been predominantly milder than usual across most of Europe, with daily mean temperatures in central, eastern and north-eastern regions 2-7°C above the long-term average. The milder weather across most of Europe has restricted the acclimatisation of winter cereals to low temperatures, therefore leaving them at risk should temperatures plunge.

The process of acclimatisation to cold temperatures is important for crops such as winter wheat, and is called hardening. Essentially, this raises the freezing tolerance of the plant, enabling it to withstand cold conditions and lower any associated detrimental effects. 

The unhardened nature of winter wheat across parts of UK, France, Spain and Italy means that the crop in these countries is more exposed if a severe frost event occurs (<-12°C). This risk is likely to be elevated for Bulgaria and Romania which are more likely to experience colder temperatures. In eastern European regions such as the Baltic countries, Russia and Ukraine, full hardening has already been achieved with only slight localised winter kill damage reported so far.

In relation to other weather concerns, rain deficits have been experienced in large parts of Portugal and south-eastern Spain, whilst there has been higher than average rainfall in central and southern France.

A cold snap is expected across much of Europe and the UK in the coming days. Unlike the majority of Europe, the UK has been slightly colder than usual. However, as the image below shows, there is a risk for winter wheat crops if severe cold weather materialises.


Chicago soyabean futures reach near seven month high

Chicago soyabean futures (May-18) almost reached a seven month high yesterday, closing at $381.18/t. This is the highest settlement price since 21 July, which was also $318.18/t.  Furthermore, yesterday’s closing price was $24.58/t above the contract average, largely a result of an increase of $16.17/t achieved in the previous six sessions since 9 February.

The now fairly long-standing dry weather in Argentina has fuelled and maintained the recent increases observed. According to Reuters, various Argentine based analysts and traders are now pegging the 2017/18 crop to be under 50Mt.

Moving closer to home, the recent gains for US soyabeans have not resulted in similar increases for Paris rapeseed as recent currency movements have largely offset any gains. Since 9 February, Paris rapeseed futures (May-18) have increased by €4.00/t, to close at €354.00/t yesterday.

Price Graph

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