UK Harvest Latest

20/09/12 -- The HGCA say that the UK wheat harvest is now 95% complete, and have cut their average yield forecast to 6.9-7.2 MT/ha from an indicated 7.1-7.4 MT/ha of just a week ago.

"Additional yield information from Scotland and confirmation of yields from other areas have resulted in (this) downward revision," they say. Trust the Jocks to let you down when push comes to shove eh?

They went on to warn that final yields will probably come in "at the lower end of (the) range" too. Ouch, that would suggest a crop of 14 MMT at best, maybe more like 13.8 MMT - the UK's lowest output since 2007 when planted area was much lower. An average yield of 6.9-7.0 MT/ha would in fact be the worst performance in 20 years.

On the face of it, all that sound s pretty bullish for wheat doesn't it? And it probably is, if you're one of the lucky ones with 72kg/hl bushel weight or above to sell.

Yet, one northern compounder tells me this morning that where he's got used to delivered wheat being around GBP5-7/tonne over the London futures price, he can currently pick it up at only GBP2/tonne over. The reason being that his mill's current practise of only penalising anything down to 66kg/hl on a pound per point allowance basis is seen as attractive relative to what some other homes are demanding.

Another spin-off of all this is suddenly there seems to be more wheatfeed offered in the market, a function it would appear of the low quality of this year's crop throwing up more of the by-product. A by-product that competes directly with feed wheat in compounder's rations.

UK wheat imports will undoubtedly prove to be higher in 2012 than was originally anticipated on a combination of the tight end to 2011/12, the delayed harvest, and the low quality of new crop. At current levels, there won't be any demand for UK wheat on the export front either, so maybe a 13.8-14.0 MMT crop won't make things quite as tight in the second half of 2012/13 as you might have thought?

Mind you, there is also the Ensus/Vivergo conundrum to factor in. Never easy this job is it?