8 August 1997

Wheat perks up

WHEAT prices improved again this week, despite Brussels efforts to keep a lid on values by reintroducing its notorious export tax.

Grain traders expressed their dismay at the move, especially when the tax was raised earlier this week, blocking their attempts to get some export business going.

"World markets have been climbing on weather fears," says David Balderson of Viking Cereals. "If UK growers are being asked to grow at world prices, they should at least be able to benefit from some of the rises."

But despite the commissions meddling, ex-farm feed wheat has still climbed another £3 to about £77/t for August and £80/t for immediate delivery. "The market is being starved of grain at the moment, by farmers and by the pools," says Mr Balderson. "Furthermore, I believe the crop is smaller than forecast and I do not believe there is the huge carryover of old crop that the HGCA says there is."n