FEED WHEAT futures jumped 60p/t on Mon (Feb 14), bolstered by a sudden increase in domestic demand.

The LIFFE price for March was up £2.25/t on the week, so farmers could count on prices of £63-67 ex farm, depending on the distance wheat had to be trucked, said David Sheppard, wheat director at traders Gleadell.

“Those pushing futures higher are those who think we’ve broken the back of the export market and have nothing to worry about,” he said.

“But export prices haven’t really moved for the past two or three weeks in a row. The price needs to come down for us to fill more ships.”

The Home Grown Cereals Authority put the UK‘s remaining exportable surplus at 600,000-800,000t at the end of January, with up to 2.3m tonnes shipped to date.

But James Maw, a grain trader with Glencore, said the export campaign was ahead of the pace, and risked exhausting stocks.

“We‘ve got to slow the export market down and the best way to do that is to price ourselves out.

“There’s another €3-7/t [£2-5/t] in it before we reach parity into some ports. If we keep on going at this sort of pace, supplies will be tight by May and June.”

Milling wheat premiums, which have recently been under pressure from cheap German supplies, should also grow again, said Mr Maw.