WIDESPREAD RAIN over the past week will not have damaged the UK’s rapidly ripening wheat crop, according to the trade.
But a decent spell of fine weather is needed if farmers are to clear their oilseed rape and remaining winter barley before starting on the wheat.
Values stand at £60-61/t ex-farm for feed wheat at harvest and £63-64/t for November.
Traders say a quality crop is vital to stop further price pressure, as many exporting countries are awash with feed wheat and competition is fierce into traditional destinations like Spain.
“I don’t see problems yet,” said David Doyle, head of Grainfarmers’ wheat desk.
“Wheat is a couple of days from being fit in some areas to two weeks in others.
“The few samples seen so far bode well, with 300 Hagberg and good proteins. Quality expectations are relatively good.”
Spot demand for wheat was thin, due to a larger-than-usual carry-out of old crop, Mr Doyle said.
Bad weather in central Europe meant an abundance of feed wheat, particularly in Hungary which was busy shipping to Spain, he added.
Fears were also rising in France that rain might have damaged Hagbergs in the 40% of the crop still to cut.
Jon Duffy, trading director at Frontier, reckoned a lot of wheat from Lincs southwards was ready.
“But it has only just reached maturity, so I don’t think we have a major quality problem. In fact, most crops look very good.”
Dry weather was crucial. “If we ended up with a lot of feed wheat, it’s a job to know where it would go. It would price itself in, but prices could come back by £5/t.”