Freezing temperatures push grain prices up

Wheat markets are continuing their bullish run, with freezing temperatures threatening crops across the EU and Ukraine. Spot feed wheat ended the week to Wednesday (1 February) up by almost £7/t, to about £162/t ex-farm, with November values nearing £150/t ex-farm.

“A combination of South American crop concerns, potential export restrictions in Russia and Argentina, and fund buying interest is supporting the sharp spike in values,” said Jonathan Lane, trading manager at Gleadell Agriculture. Worries that cold weather would hurt EU crops were also fuelling new crop price rises, while analyst ProAgro said the coldest winter in Ukraine for six years could slash grain production to 40m tonnes – a drop of 29% from last year’s record 56.7m tonnes.

In the UK, cereal stocks were lower than expected, with Defra’s latest estimate cutting wheat availability to 17.7m tonnes – 151,000t less than in November due to lower production and import figures. Barley supplies were put at 6.5m tonnes – a drop of 147,000t on November.

Oilseed rape markets remained relatively unchanged, at around £360/t ex-farm, supported by the impact of South American drought on soya bean production. New crop markets were also weather-focused.

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