Low on-farm wheat stocks compensated by other grains

On-farm wheat stocks in England and Wales were lower in February than at the same time last year, but any left at the end of the season may have to compete with a larger wheat crop and an earlier harvest if growing conditions continue, HGCA has reported.

The latest data from DEFRA reveals on-farm stocks of wheat in England and Wales were down 0.335m tonnes to 3.172m tonnes at the end of February compared with the previous year.

However, this was “more than offset” by stores of barley and oats held by growers (0.287m and 0.65m tonnes higher than last year respectively) and merchants, ports and co-ops still sitting on 0.105m tonnes more maize and 0.12m tonnes more barley than last year.

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As Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday feed wheat for May was worth for £146-160/t ex-farm, while feed barley was at £119-127/t. The London November 2014 feed wheat futures contract was at £148.50/t in very thin trading.

The political situation between Ukraine and Russia appears to be having little impact on those countries’ ability to export grain, reported HGCA. Also, along with a relatively strong sterling, competition from plentiful maize supplies is keeping the pressure firmly on UK wheat prices.

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