Mr X standing in his wheat fieldMr x on his farm

Grain markets have remained relatively unchanged during the past week, with all eyes on wheat quality across the UK and Europe.

In France – Europe’s largest producer of milling wheat and a major exporter – heavy rain throughout the first half of July had led to concerns about milling wheat quality, said Helen Plant at HGCA. “Germany has also received increased rainfall, but with crops not as far advanced, the effect is not yet clear.”

This year, common wheat plantings in the EU increased by 2% to 23.9m ha, with the EU Commission forecasting an average yield of 5.8t/ha – similar to last year, but 4.2% higher than the five-year average.

Wheat crops that were downgraded to feed quality would increase feed grain supplies in Europe, which were already expected to be high due to increased maize production, she added. However, if the UK had a good-quality crop, it could benefit by securing new export markets.

Initial indications of milling wheat quality in the UK were that while bushel weights and Hagbergs were fine, protein levels were low at 11.5-12.5% for group one varieties. “Preserving the quality that is achieved and segregating crops could have increased importance this season.”