Further harvest pressure on cereals prices

Falling grain prices and wet weather means very few farmers are selling at the moment, say traders.

Oilseed rape markets crashed by about £25/t yesterday (5 August) on weaker crude oil prices, good weather in the US, prospects of large global crops, and heavy selling by fund managers, said Grainfarmers’ Simon Ingle.

“Farmers have sold nothing of any consequence for the past £25/t drop – there is a big backlog of transactions to do.”

Large UK and EU wheat and barley crops had also put pressure on cereal prices, said Alan Macaulay from Frontier’s Berwick office. But milling premiums had widened due to concerns over quality.

The winter barley was about a third complete in the north, with rape only about 5% cut. “We should be well into it by now.”

Although the forecast was unsettled for another week, and water was lying in the fields, most crops were not yet ripe so would hopefully bear up reasonably well, he added.

And with the delayed harvest there was very little pressure to move crops. “Lorry availability has not been a problem because of the weather – it hardly feels like we’ve started yet.”