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Weekly Executive Summary
March 01, 2024

26 Feb – 1 Mar 2024

Currency / Oil:CloseChange on weekLIFFE Wheat:CloseChange on
Nymex Oil$78.26-$0.35Nov25£184.70+£0.20
As of Thursday Evening Close

Wheat Futures Market Comparisons:

Closing diff.+£5£75£02937
Change on week+£1+£2-£3+£2+£5+£5
1.      Cbot/Liffe Nov* and Matif/Liffe Nov * compares Cbot and Matif Dec with Liffe Nov
2.      Relevant forward exchange rates are used to convert to Sterling equivalents
3.      Prices are based on Thursday pm market closes. Nymex oil = front month position.
4.      All figures are approximate and intended solely to illustrate trends


  • Defra figures show that over 10,000 farmers have applied for the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI) since it opened in Sep23.
  • Ongoing wet conditions across the entire country continue to frustrate spring planting intentions.


  • EU-27 2023/4 season soft wheat exports reported at 20.5m (vs 21.1m last ytd), barley exports 3.6m (vs 4.2m), maize imports 11.5m (vs 19.4m).
  • Poland considering closing their border to Ukrainian agricultural goods following ongoing farmer protests.
  • At 26/2, Agrimer rated the 2024 French soft wheat crop at 68% good/excellent (vs 69% last week; 95% last ytd), winter barley 70% (vs 71%; 93%) with the spring barley crop 27% sown (vs 26%; 90%)…they also need a period of dry weather.


  • SovEcon estimate Russian Feb24 wheat exports at a record 3.8m (vs previous Feb record of 3.6m set in 2021).
  • Ukrainian Ag-Min estimates Feb24 grain exports at 5.3m (vs 4.7m in Feb23) taking the Jul-Feb total to 29.1m (vs 31.8m last ytd).
  • Russia Ag-Min says that it has no interest in re-establishing the original Black Sea Export Corridor (this ended in Jul23 and was replaced in Aug23 by the Humanitarian Corridor)
  • China reported to have bought up to 600k of Ukrainian maize at $227-230 cif for Mar-May24 shipment…keep an eye on whether they follow this up with more bargain buying next week.
  • South Africa CEC forecasts the 2023/4 maize crop at 14.4m (vs 16.4m in 2022/3).
  • MARS crop monitoring unit forecast Moroccan and Algerian crop24 cereal yields 15-20% below the 5-year average following an exceptionally dry growing season.
  • At 25/2, the key Kansas wheat crop was rated 57% good/excellent (vs 54% end Jan24; 19% last ytd).
  • US Ag-Sec reports that currently 85% of total US farm income goes to 7% of farm holdings following a dramatic consolidation in the sector over the past 40 years which has seen the loss of over 500,000 farms.
  • US weather forecasters starting to flag the risk of a hotter Mid-West summer if the current weakening El-Nino flips to La-Nina…too early to worry yet but one to keep an eye on.
  • A drying pattern across North and Central Brazil has increased the need for good rainfall in March to boost safrinha maize yield potential…one to follow closely.

A relatively quiet week, with Russian old crop wheat export prices continuing to weaken as exporters fight hard for residual 2023/4 season demand…for now the focus remains on old crop surplus rather than new crop weather risk. MS

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