Grain markets are weighed down by ample global stocks and beneficial rain in South America.

Spot feed wheat lost £3.70/t in the week to Wednesday (22 January), to average £148/t ex-farm. Oilseed rape values also fell, by £4.60/t, to around £278/t ex-farm. “Argentine farmers expect a bountiful harvest of soya beans, and forecast rains should benefit corn crops, which are flowering in more than 50% of the plots,” said a report by analyst Agritel.

Closer to home, HMRC data showed that wheat imports in November fell to their lowest level in 16 months, at 129,000t. “This reflects the on-going reduction in imported wheat consumption by flour, ethanol and starch producers,” said a report by HGCA. “Home-grown wheat incorporation in November was at 83.3%, a 5.2% point increase on the previous month.”

Compound feed demand fell by 3%, year-on-year. Maize made up 6% of the ration, against 4.6% in October. “UK maize imports increased to 222,000t, the second highest monthly figure in six years.”

Wheat exports totalled 166,600t between July and November, compared to 476,900t last year. Cumulative imports reached 1.18m tonnes (1.03m tonnes last year).