Wheat grain being loaded into lorry© Tim Scrivener

Grain markets gained in early new year trade, having lost ground in a thin market over the holidays.

The London feed wheat futures contract for May 2015 gained more than £3/t on the day to stand at £139.25 by mid-afternoon on Monday (5 January), while the November 2015 contract was up £2.90/t to £143.50/t.

On Christmas Eve, Russia announced a grain export tax of at least €35/t from 1 February until the end of June.

This aims to protect domestic food prices, which have already risen sharply as the value of the Russian rouble has fallen over recent months.

See also: Global grain insight – record UK harvest gives little comfort

Russian shippers must now load their January commitments before the tax kicks in – the weather and high transport charges may challenge their ability to do so, analysts have said.  

Traders reminded growers that even with the Russian move, there was still plenty of wheat in the world.

While there was also still plenty of buying to be done by consumers in Europe and further afield, any price rallies could be short-lived, said trader and shipper Nidera in its weekly grain report.