Market Report: Wheat futures soar as investors return

Wheat markets have continued to soar over the past week, with adverse weather sparking massive futures trading by speculators worldwide.

London November wheat futures reached their highest level since June 2009 on Thursday (15 July), at £132.20/t, but had eased to £127/t as Farmers Weekly went to press on Wednesday (21 July).

“The market is very nervous indeed,” said one trader. “We can’t get consumers to buy because they think the market has gone too far – it is all futures trading.”

Glencore Grain’s Hugh Schryver said it was impossible to predict where the market would go next. “Now that the investment funds have returned in force, normal rules do not apply.” Last Thursday, speculative funds bought 2.3m tonnes of Chicago wheat futures, with 1.8m tonnes of Paris futures traded for November alone.

“It is quite possible, if the funds keep buying, that the market will go higher still, but at some stage the fundamentals of supply and demand will dominate and we could then see an equally sharp fall in values.”

European analyst Strategie Grains recently cut its estimate of EU wheat production by 3.5m tonnes, to 129.5m tonnes.

• code123