Grain prices rise on low stock and weather worries

Grain prices firmed by £2-£4/tonne over the week to Friday (13 April), with milling wheat seeing the largest rise to average almost £154/t spot ex-farm.

As well as UK wheat supply being very tight, the EU reduced the tonnage of soft wheat it estimates will be in stock at the end of the season, putting this at 2.7m tonnes, down from 3.2m tonnes last month.

Grain price round-up – spot prices 13 April

  • Feed wheat – average £146, range £136-£154/t ex-farm
  • Milling wheat – average £154, range £145-£161/t ex-farm
  • Feed barley – average £141, range £135-£153/t ex-farm

Higher domestic usage, largely on increased demand for animal feed, together with a rise in trade between EU member states, were the reasons.

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“Market dynamics remain little changed as cash buyers underpin the market in the face of the limited volume on offer, either from the trade or from farm,” said Gleadell managing director David Sheppard.

Delays to the spring drilling programme and to spraying winter crops are raising yield fears. There is also the risk that shallow rooted winter crops will suffer if the weather suddenly dries up.

“Markets will remain driven by weather, the pace of spring plantings and the perceived development of winter crops,” said Mr Sheppard.

“And, given the current unease in the Middle East and the ongoing US–China spat, outside influences could also quickly lend a supportive hand.”