Grain being tipped©Tim Scrivener

New-crop feed wheat prices fell in the week to Wednesday, to average £110.60/t ex-farm for August.

The pressure came from strong sterling, an EU wheat and barley yield outlook slightly better than the five-year average and good US harvest progress.

Limited global demand alongside good crop prospects in most areas and high stock levels in many exporting countries all added weight, with EU wheat export bookings at a low level.

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Ex-farm wheat prices ranged from £109-£115/t for August, with barley at £95-£100/t.

Following the recent heavy rain, the milling premium for full-spec breadmaking wheat samples has firmed to £20-£26/t, compared with last week when it stood at £20-£21/t.

The competitive pressure from Black Sea exports, alongside the continued strength of sterling in anticipation of an interest rate rise, have been significant factors. 

UK farmer selling of both new and old crop has been very limited, say traders, despite the pressure of old-crop stocks on farm as harvest starts. 

“We are in a holding phase at the moment, waiting for everything to get going,” said Jonathan Lane, trading director at Gleadell Agriculture.

However, he warned that logistics were going to be challenging once things were properly under way, with a lot of rapeseed to move.

Barley export prospects are better than those for wheat, with Gleadell having loaded two feed barley boats for Spain and one for Portugal in the past couple of weeks.

There was a slightly firmer sentiment towards feed barley than feed wheat in the carry to November, said Mr Lane, with November wheat at £115-£120/t ex-farm and barley at £102-£107/t.

Malting premiums have come under pressure with reports of good French spring barley quality and yields, said Frontier Agriculture.

 The English winter barley crop was yielding well, with low nitrogen levels and some variability in screening levels, said the firm.

The EU’s latest Mars crop monitoring bulletin revised the overall EU grain yield outlook down, mainly on a drop in the maize yield outlook.

However it continued to forecast wheat and barley yields at higher than five-year average levels.