Feed wheat in a field© Tim Scrivener

UK feed wheat prices found strength in the week to 4 October, gaining £4.40/t on the previous week to average £137.70 ex-farm for spot delivery and £16.60/t higher than the same week last year.

Wheat values were supported by a weaker sterling against the euro, as well as the lack of liquidity in the market and not many farmers selling, said traders.

UK imports of wheat across the 2016-17 season (July to June) were almost 390,000t greater at 1.83m tonnes than wheat exports – which totalled 1.45m tonnes over the same period – according to the latest supply and demand estimates from Defra.

This pegged imports at 325,000t more and exports at 46,000t less than the volumes recorded in the previous season.

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The UK was a net importer of wheat for the past three of six seasons, according to the 2016-17 end of season balance sheet, emphasising the tight supply dynamics seen across the season, added the report.

In terms of availability, total supplies in 2016-17 were estimated at 18.97m tonnes – up 98,000t on June’s forecast – on the back of higher than anticipated imports.

End of season stocks were estimated at 1.766m tonnes, which was 37% lower than 2015-16. This put closing stocks at the lowest level since 2013-14, said AHDB.