So far in October we have seen the continuation of the weather pattern in September, with heavy spells of rain and periods of nice sunny weather as well and strong winds which have helped to dry the land in between the wet periods.

This has made the winter sowing and potato lifting become a stop:start affair and is now dragging things out – November is not far away now and Brexit looms.

We are now seeing near final results and figures back from this past grain harvest, with wheat and barley production in the UK provisionally estimated to be considerably higher than previous estimates. This is going to lead to a significantly larger surplus availability for either export or free stock leading to larger wheat and barley stocks year-on-year.

At 19.244m tonnes, UK wheat availability in 2019-20 is forecast to be 2.113m tonnes, or 12% higher than in 2018-19, driven by an estimated rise in production. UK wheat production for 2019 is reckoned to be 16.283m tonnes, or 20% higher than in 2018 – a combination of higher than average yields and an increase in planted area led to the rise. So, opening wheat stocks are estimated at 1.911m tonnes, which is 11% higher than in 2018-19.

Full season wheat imports are estimated at 1.05m tonnes in 2019-20, which is 43%, or 808,000 lower than levels recorded in 2018-19. UK imports of wheat from July to August totalled 223,000 tonnes – 58% lower than for the same period in 2018-19.

Total domestic consumption of wheat in 2019-20 could be 1% higher compared to last season at 14.809m tonnes and this year's human and industrial consumption of wheat is forecast to be 6.928m tonnes, or 47,000 tonnes less than last year. This is mainly due to a decline in bioethanol usage and wheat demand for animal feed this year is expected to increase by 2% to 7.519m tonnes.

The balance of availability and domestic consumption is forecast to be 85% higher than in 2018-19 at 4.435m tonnes, though the estimated operating stock requirement remains unchanged on the year in 2019-20 at 1.55m tonnes. This leaves a surplus available for export or free stock of 2.885m tonnes, significantly higher than the previous season.

Only 151,000 tonnes of wheat have been exported throughout July and August, which means an average of 270,000 tonnes per month from September onwards would be required to prevent a stock build-up.

In 2019-20, the total availability of barley is estimated at 9.336m tonnes, or 22% higher than levels recorded in 2018-19 driven by an estimated increase in production due to higher yields.

At 8.18m tonnes, barley production is 26% or 1.67m tonnes higher than in 2018-19 and the highest UK level recorded since 1988 and opening stocks are estimated to be 1% higher on the year at 1.091m tonnes. UK barley imports of 65,000 tonnes are estimated to be 5000 tonnes lower than last season.

From July to August, the UK imported 14,000 tonnes of barley, 32% lower than in 2018-19, while total domestic consumption of barley this season is estimated to increase by 9%, or 489,000 tonnes on the year to 6.19m tonnes, driven by a projected increase in animal feed usage.

Human and industrial usage is put at 1.938m tonnes in 2019-20, which is 35,000 tonnes higher year-on-year. And animal feed demand for barley is expected to increase by 12%, or 446,000 tonnes to 4.024m tonnes.

At 3.145m tonnes, the balance of total availability and domestic consumption is 1.191m tonnes higher than in 2018-19. The operating stock requirement for 2019-20 is estimated at 790,000 tonnes – 10,000 tonnes higher than in 2018-19.

This leaves a surplus available for either free stock or export that is more than double that of 2018-19 at 2.355m tonnes. UK barley exports in July and August reached 330,000 tonnes, the fastest export pace for the last 20 years and this is expected to continue as the trade tries to shift as much as possible of the surplus before the current Brexit deadline. So September and October shipments have been continuing apace.

Provisional production estimates for oats of 1.082m tonnes which, if realised, would be the largest crop since 1972. This could create a requirement to export significantly greater tonnage than in recent years. With UK national yields of 6 tonnes per ha, this is in line with 2014 and 2015 and a 1m tonne crop is in line with expectations.

Provisional estimates have put oilseed rape production at 1.75m tonnes and UK yields for oilseed rape at 3.3 tonnes per ha are below the five-year average, but far from the lowest on record and in line with the AHDB harvest report findings of between 3.2-3.5 t/ha.

A lot of information and figures to digest and caution should be taken when looking at these figures at such an early stage in the season following a harvest which is only just come to an end.

Imports of rapeseed into the EU have hit a record 2m tonnes so far this season, with Ukraine as the main supplier. However, 70% of the Ukrainian rapeseed exportable surplus has been moved already and the UK imported 35,000 tonnes of Ukrainian rapeseed up to September.

Oilseed rape delivered Erith for November fell £5 last week to £341.50 and large tonnages will still be required to come into the EU, but delays and weather are reducing potential tonnage from both Canada and Australia where traditionally these countries export their rapeseed to the EU.

Ongoing wet weather has not only hindered winter wheat drilling in the UK but also across the channel where France estimates that 4% of their soft wheat area is now sown compared to 15% at the same time last year and last week only 1% of their wheat area was sown due to weather issues.

The US maize harvest is falling further behind as just 58% of the US maize crop is ready for harvest which is 27% behind average and only 15% of the crop has been harvested. This is due to adverse weather, which includes snowfall in the northern plains.

Similarly, the US spring wheat harvest progressed by only 1% last week, with 9% still to cut compared to last year when the harvest had been finished for three weeks.

The value of sterling continues to push higher and as at the October 15 £1 equated to €1.1480, which mean s the pound has strengthened by 6.9% from the lows on August 9. A more positive tone towards gaining a deal with the EU has pushed the pound back towards previous levels of £1=€1.16-1.18 recorded earlier this year.

The further strengthening of the pound has led to a fall in the value of feed wheat futures with November, 2019, closing as at October 15 at £135, compared to £165 at this time last year.