By FWi staff

WHEAT values appear to have stabilised now following the falls seen at the start of the year.

But values are likely to continue in this narrow band, said independent grain broker Jeremy Cole.

“As soon as the price goes up a couple of pounds farmers will sell, bringing the value back down,” he said.

Typical ex-farm prices for feed varieties are between £70-£72/t, with bread wheats at about £88/t. Class 2 wheats remain at their £10 premium to feed, fetching about £80/t.

Demand is not strong and the majority of purchases are from merchants who have run short and have sales that they have to deliver on, said Mr Cole. “And theyre prepared to pay that little bit more.”

Mr Cole recommends that if producers have to sell something within the next couple of months, £75/t would be a good price.

“Theres a lot of wheat about,” he said. “The restitutions were better last week, but is there anyone that wants to buy it?”

The EU grains management committee granted 233,000 tonnes of wheat export licences at a maximum refund of Euro31.49.

But the Commission need to grant restitutions amounting to 430,000 tonnes a week from now until the end of the season in June to dispose of the surplus, said a spokesman from Banks Agriculture.

“Without a campaign on a larger scale or massive offers into intervention the current surplus of wheat in the EU will be carried over to next year and the rock bottom prices can only continue,” he said.

With the European market under pressure from poor demand world-wide, the short term outlook remains relatively bleak, said Cargills Ian Wallis.

“UK prices are currently similar to those of French wheat, and so a further reduction in prices may be needed for exports to be competitive,” he said.