By FWi staff

WHEAT prices crept up this week on the back of a weaker Pound and lack of farmer selling,according to Mark Buckingham of Banks Agriculture.

“Consumers are bidding better prices on-farm as they havent covered themselves for their needs. Group 1 and 2 wheats have risen as people have found themselves short,” said Mr Buckingham.

Milling wheat prices are about £84.34/t while feed wheat prices are £68.45. Future prices have risen by as much as £1 to £73.50/t for November delivery.

Mr Buckingham reported a strong export market at present. “The wheat sent to Italy and Spain at the end of last month has been unloaded and tested. Reports suggest that they are very happy with the quality and are currently making further enquiries.” The weaker Pound is also helping exports.

10-15% of wheat is still sitting in fields in North Lincolnshire reported trader Chris Spratt of Gleadell Banks, Gainsborough. “Class 1 quality has been good although class two wheats such as Charger and Rialto have been variable.”

Mr Spratt reported little interest in buying and selling on forwards with farmers selling the bare minimum. “The market appears to be revolving around the Pound,” he said.

Trader Hugh Raby of Heart of England Grain, Daventry, Northampton also reported a quiet market at present. “Not all the wheat has been harvested, and producers are reluctant to sell. This is due to a combination of low prices as well as farmers being busy with land work.”

It is still unknown what the total 1998 tonnage is as harvest is dragged out by wet weather up North. This is reducing yields and making grain difficult to get in. The estimated figure still stands at 16 million tonnes, although those who thought it might be way over are having to re-think this week.