With farmers and end-users still divided over prices, a dribble of rapeseed imports is coming into the UK to keep the crushers supplied.

“It’s half term. That’s the raison d’être behind the stalemate we’ve got at the moment,” David Whyte, trader at United Oilseeds, told Agritrade News. “Most people seem to be away from their desks.”

“At the moment we are just stuck with a bit of an impasse,” he explained. “There are a few import cargoes of rape coming into the UK, which is reducing the need to buy ‘off the road’. Currency is the other factor, as it fluctuates on the back of Brexit, or other economic news – if the pound gets weaker, the MATIF comes down while if the pound gets stronger, the MATIF goes up – which means the price is roughly the same.”

“The market impasse is likely to continue, Mr Whyte continued. “Crushers aren’t particularly keen to look further forward because they think they are going to get their rapeseed at the same price they are paying today – or maybe lower.  Farmers are still busy doing fieldwork and aren’t really focusing on selling their rapeseed.

“When we talk prices, growers think that they should be being paid more,” he said. “It’s a difficult work-around really.  It’s causing a little bit of stagnation in the markets.

“Imports are continuing to arrive by coasters,” Mr Whyte went on. “The self fulfilling prophecy is that buyers hope that by bringing in rapeseed early in the season, there will be a lot more rapeseed still on farms at the backend of the year, so farmers will have to accept less money if it is to move.  Whether that happens or not is a moot point.”

AHDB reported that “Chicago soyabean futures (Nov-17) fell last week on the back of an advancing US harvest and predictions of rainfall in Brazil over the weekend.

“With rainfall materialising in Brazil over the weekend and predictions of more throughout the week this trend may continue,” it said. “Paris rapeseed futures (Nov-17) also fell (Friday-Friday), though to a much lesser extent.”

Substantial rain over the weekend in Brazil had “eased fears” of problems with soybean plantings there. “However, due to high temperatures additional rain will be needed to significantly increase soil moisture,” AHDB said, citing the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

AHDB has also reported that DEFRA provisionally estimates the UK 2017 rapeseed crop at 2.2 million tonnes. While the planted area was down 2.8%, there was a 26% higher average yield at 3.9 tonnes a hectare.

“As a result, we can expect the UK to return to net exporter status in 2017/18 after being a net importer last season due to the small crop of 1.78m tonnes,” AHDB concluded. It also noted a downward revision in the Australian rapeseed crop to 3.0m tonnes (from the 3.2m tonnes forecast in September) in the latest USDA WASDE report, amid low rainfall.