By FWi staff

A GLOBAL recovery in grain prices is still some way off, analysts and traders have warned.

There are few prospects for anything other than continued pressure on world wheat prices, according to the London-based Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

Fixed-price contracts in the UK have seen feed wheat hold steady at about £75/ tonne ex-farm. But new-crop wheat is trading at about £64/ tonne and futures contracts for September are little higher at £68/ tonne.

Better-than-anticipated yields in France have driven UK wheat prices lower and pressured the international market.

Meanwhile, the prospect for world barley sales are also poor, warn analysts at Cargill.

New-crop UK barley is trading at less than £60/ tonne ex-farm. Saudi Arabia, the largest importer of feed barley, has reduced forecast consumption by 1 million tonnes over the next two years.

Any return to the high prices of the 1980s is unlikely. But a mini-recover should be underway by the year 2000, according to forecasts from the United States Department of Agriculture.