LONDON WHEAT futures have fallen below £70/t for November for the first time since July last year.

Beneficial rain and weaker US markets were to blame for the drop, said traders.

“We‘ve got quite a big harvest coming towards us and Eastern Bloc wheat is already trading into Spain, Italy and North Africa at levels which we can‘t compete with at the moment,” said independent trader Robert Kerr.

“You would now struggle to pay £70/t ex-farm pre-Christmas.”

Gerald Mason, chief economist at the Home-Grown Cereals Authority, said UK wheat had been cheaper than US wheat three to four weeks ago.

But a progressing US harvest and good weather prospects for maize had brought US wheat markets off by $12-14/t (£6.60-£7.70/t) since then.

Although the UK market had not fallen by as much, it was now uncompetitive and prices had started to erode, he said.

“We‘re going to be quite tightly tied to the direction of the US market this season,” he added.