Grain price moves on weather uncertainty and Ukraine unrest

Grain markets have rebounded amid renewed tensions in Ukraine and adverse weather conditions across the USA and EU.

Although old crop wheat values have risen by £2/t over the past week, new crop markets have jumped more markedly as northern hemisphere crops become increasingly affected by the dry spring. November wheat futures were £4.30/t firmer in the week to Tuesday (15 April), at £160/t – equivalent to about £155/t ex-farm – with November 2015 futures rising by £8 to £162/t.

However, actual trade was extremely thin with very few physical buyers or sellers in the market, said grain traders. Most of the sentiment revolved around tensions in Ukraine, which could affect its exporting ability.

Cold and dry weather in the USA wheat belt also threatened to damage emerging crops, said a report by analyst Agritel.

Only 34% of the US winter wheat was rated good to excellent and just 3% of the corn crop had been sown, compared to the country’s five-year average of 6%.

Dry weather across central and eastern Europe was another concern, said Bidwells consultant Jonathan Armitage.

“The big unknown remains the weather in the coming months and how much of the above is already factored in to forward values.”


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