Grain prices increase as rain hammers Argentina

Grain prices have improved over the past week, buoyed by adverse weather in Argentina and more bullish stock market sentiment.

Average feed wheat prices increased by £2.10/t on the week to £103.20/t ex-farm for spot movement, with milling wheat rising by £3.30/t to £115/t. Feed barley was about £1/t stronger, at £100.60/t, with oilseed rape up by £1.20/t to average £272/t ex-farm.

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Most of the gains had been driven by heavy rain in Argentina, which was hampering the soya bean harvest and transport for export. Despite good conditions for the American winter wheat and maize crops, heavy investment by commodity traders had pushed Chicago soya, wheat and maize futures higher, with a corresponding effect on UK futures markets.

“US operators keep exporting soya beans, even though it is unusual at this time of the year,” said a report by analyst Agritel. “The delays in Argentina and the increase of Brazilian prices are helping US exporters, and [Chicago] soya bean prices have skyrocketed to reach their highest level for nine months.”

However, UK crush margins remained extremely tight, and physical trade of both old- and new-crop was slow, said traders.

New-crop rapeseed was worth about £265/t ex-farm for harvest movement, and about £273/t for November.