Good start to US harvest bears on grain market

Grain prices have drifted slightly over the past week, with a surprisingly good wheat harvest in the USA weighing against firmer financial markets.

London wheat futures fell by £3/t last week, before rebounding £1.50 on Wednesday (6 June), putting ex-farm wheat at about £167/t for spot movement. New crop values were £1 down, at around £145/t for harvest.

Wheat harvest in the USA was progressing extremely well, with 20% now cut – 13 percentage points ahead of last year, said a report by the US Department of Agriculture. Overall, 52% of the crop was in good to excellent condition, 18 points more than last year. Both the maize and soya crops were also well ahead of last season and looking well, with 72% and 65% rated good to excellent, respectively.

Beneficial rain in Russia was adding pressure to international markets, said a report by analyst

Agritel. However, yields in Ukraine had been permanently damaged by the earlier drought, with wheat production forecast at 12.5m tonnes – a drop of 42%, year-on-year.

Both old and new crop rapeseed values ended the week to Wednesday slightly easier, at about £360/t ex-farm for spot movement and £348/t for harvest.

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