Harvest pressure yet to start in earnest, say traders

Harvest pressure has yet to start in earnest, say traders, with lorry availability proving reasonable and spot rape prices improving over the past week.

“Short distance transport is not a problem – long distance is getting harder,” said John Thorpe, rape trader at Centaur Grain.

“Early yields were disappointing and it’s not going to be a good year – it is more likely to be an average year.”

After last week’s sharp £40/t drop, values had recovered to about £300/t ex-farm for August, he added.

However, wheat and barley prices had fallen over the past week, knocked by promising yields across Europe and aggressive exporting from Black Sea countries.

Ex-farm wheat values for harvest movement had weakened to about £115/t, depending on region, with barley at about £110/t.

Early sample results indicated good quality wheat with high bushelweight and Hagbergs but mixed protein contents, said Grainfarmers’ Mike Fowler.

With malting barley results showing low nitrogen contents, the implication was that wheat could suffer from low protein as well, he added.