Grains gain again on lower harvest estimates

Spot feed wheat prices rose by about £7.50/t in the week to Wednesday (1 August).

November feed wheat futures continued to climb and stood at £189.25/t as Farmers Weekly went to press, with the May 2019 contract at £194.15/t.

August new-crop feed wheat averaged £177.40/t ex-farm midweek, ranging between £171/t and £182/t across the regions.

The milling premium lost ground, averaging less than £9/t for full-spec breadmaking samples, compared with more than £13/t last week.

Feed barley values for the same month gained about £6.60/t to average almost £160/t.

The upward pressure on prices continues as each new crop estimate generally produces a lower turnout than the previous one.

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The German farmer’s union DVB this week cut its forecast of the German grain harvest to 36m tonnes (compared with 45.5m tonnes in 2017) on drought damage, with wheat dropping to about 18m tonnes (24.1m tonnes in 2017).

The trade has also been wobbled by talk of Russia restricting exports, although there was nothing concrete on this at the time of going to press.

An estimate of US spring wheat yields at lower levels than the trade expected gave strength to US prices, while a forecast for dry weather across northern Europe and the Black Sea region for the next few weeks stoked fears about the potential effect on maize yields.

The recent rain has allowed the trade to catch up after a rushed and concentrated first few weeks of harvest.

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