Grain markets have jumped again following further concerns over the US maize and soya crops.

Spot feed wheat was worth about £165/t ex-farm on Wednesday, 31 August – £5/t up on the week and a rise of £10/t over the past fortnight. Oilseed rape values showed an even greater jump, up by more than £15/t over the past week alone, to £375/t ex-farm, depending on location.

The unseasonal boost followed reports from a ProFarmer crop tour in the US, which revealed that drought had damaged the maize crop more than expected. It estimated production to be 317m tonnes; 11m tonnes below the US Department of Agriculture’s latest forecast. Just 54% of the maize crop was rated good to excellent, compared to 57% last week and 70% last year.

Only half of the US spring wheat crop had been harvested, 16% down on 2010, said a report by HGCA. And extreme drought was affecting Texas, Oklahoma and southern Kansas. “Markets are becoming aware of this dryness as planting of winter crops typically gets underway in the coming weeks.”

Global oilseed markets were also higher, driven by stronger crude oil prices and concerns over the impact of dry weather on the US soya crop.

market report