Grain prices slumped by more than £14/t at the start of this week, knocked by a combination of profit-taking, economic gloom and rain in the US.
Having reached record highs last week, US soya bean and corn futures dropped sharply on Monday and Tuesday (23 and 24 July), with London and Paris futures following the same trend. “Everywhere you look there is concern about the EU crisis,” said Simon Ingle, grain trader at Openfield. “Speculators don’t like uncertainty so are just taking their money back out.”
Forecast rain in the US should aid the soya bean crop, although it was probably too late to boost maize yields, he added. “It’s a brief respite, but at this stage we just don’t know what the harvest will be, either in the US, EU or Russia and Ukraine. We can expect the markets to remain volatile for the foreseeable future.”
Combines were starting to roll as Farmers Weekly went to press, with new crop wheat values falling to about £173/t ex-farm for harvest, depending on location. Grade one milling wheat was fetching about £25 above that, with feed barley pegged at around £163/t. Oilseed rape was about £14/t down on the week, to around £361/t for harvest.