GRAIN PRICES have firmed again, buoying exports and filling the order book until Christmas, say traders.

Wheat exports are set to hit 350,000t this month, keeping the UK on target to sell 1.6m tonnes of its 3.1m tonne surplus by the end of the year.

The strengthening euro added about £1.50/t to the value of feed wheat, helping to push ex-farm prices above the £60/t mark across the country. In the week ending Nov 5, buyers were paying £60-£63/t for feed wheat, £64-£67/t for feed barley and £84-£88/t for Group 1 milling wheat.

Gary Sharkey, wheat director at Grainfarmers, said: “We appear to have found a bottom on feed wheat. Vessel availability in the Black Sea has been harder, allowing the UK to recapture some of the markets into eastern Spain. There have even been one or two enquiries from Italian buyers.”

Richard Whitlock, grain trading director at Banks Cargill, said domestic milling premiums were holding up with high freight rates and a weakening pound protecting against grain imports, and prices were likely to remain high.