Regional grain prices vary on lack of sales

Grain prices vary wildly between regions as the wheat harvest approaches and farmers become even more reluctant sellers.

Midweek saw quotes for August feed wheat up by £5/t-£8/t on the week in many regions to average about £158.70/t ex-farm.

However the week-on-week August average was up just £2/t as prices in some regions were unchanged and those for Hampshire and West Sussex fell by up to £12/t, to £155/t.  

See also: More information on agricultural markets, prices and trends

Milling wheat prices for August rose in most areas to average £175.63/t ex-farm, up about £2/t on the previous week.

Growers wary 

However, growers are wary of committing new crop, especially as many were caught out in the poor harvest of 2012, having sold grain it turned out they did not have. 

The London November 2018 feed wheat futures contract gained almost £10/t in three days and midweek stood at £169.15/t.

Local conditions along with the continental European and Russian harvest prospects is dominating trade talk. Copa and Cogeca, which represent farmers and European co-ops respectively, revised their EU cereal grain harvest forecasts down by 6% on last year to 273.8m tonnes due to the extreme weather.

“Farmers in some central European and northern countries – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Germany and Finland – have been hit by severe drought, which is reaching catastrophic proportions,” said cereals working party chairman Max Schulman.

“Some southern countries [Iberian Peninsula, Italy, France] have been experiencing floods.”

French wheat market

The French wheat market gained as analyst Strategie Grains cut its estimate of the country’s wheat crop by 4m tonnes to 33.2m tonnes, well below last year’s 36.6m tonnes.

The Russian harvest is progressing rapidly, with average cereal yields (including maize) at 3.82t/ha, down 13.5% on the year, according to the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.