Feed wheat market stays lethargic after festive period

UK feed wheat prices remained largely unchanged in the week to 10 January, with the average just 20p/t up week-on-week to £136.40/t ex-farm for spot movement.

The market remained stagnant after the holiday period, said traders.

See also: All the latest market prices and trends

In global markets, prolonged freezing conditions in the US during the Christmas period have led to increased concerns of winter kill in the winter wheat crop.

Though snow cover often protects much of the crop, patchy cover in the southern midwest US reduced the level of protection against the cold spell, said Aidan Wright, analyst at AHDB Cereals & Oilseeds.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the proportion of winter wheat reported as good or excellent in Kansas (the largest winter wheat-producing US state) was just 36% – down 15 percentage points from the previous condition scores, added Mr Wright.

As a result of the extreme conditions, Chicago wheat futures (May 2018) hit a four-week high last week at $164.69/t (£121.76/t).

With the lasting effects of the cold weather unknown and no planned USDA crop reports until the spring, this was an area to watch for the whole market, which could give some support to UK values, said the AHDB.