Wheat price rises on lower harvest estimates

Spot feed wheat prices have risen by about £2/t on the week on harvest reports, including downward revisions to expectations for the French and Russian harvests.

Following the AHDB’s final plantings survey showing the UK wheat area down 25% on 2019, the French agriculture ministry this week reduced its forecasts for the French wheat crop to 31.3m tonnes, compared with last year’s 39m tonnes-plus.

Early yield reports from Russia have also prompted consultancy IKAR to revise its expectation for the country’s wheat crop down by 1.5m tonnes to 78m tonnes.

UK futures have risen further on the crop news, with the London November feed wheat contract at £169/t at lunchtime on Friday (10 July), up just over £2/t on the week.

See also: Surge in barley will see crop area almost match wheat

Ex-farm spot prices collected the same morning averaged almost £159/t for feed wheat, also up about £2/t on the week.

The carry from old- to new-crop feed wheat prices is very variable regionally, with some areas seeing a drop of up to £3/t and others a rise of up to £5/t.

Feed barley was steady in a range of £118-£127/t spot ex-farm, with the lower end of the range about £3/t higher than the previous week, but the top end at the same level as a week earlier.

Currency aside, the next movement in the market is likely to be prompted by the release of the US Department of Agriculture’s monthly world agricultural supply and demand estimate at 5pm UK time today.

Tilbury update

Import and export operations are continuing at Tilbury, despite the port’s silo operation being put out of action by an explosion and fires on 3 July.

This was followed by further grain fires in the silos two days later.

Peter Ward, commercial director at the Port of Tilbury, said operations at the silo itself would be closed until at least 31 July, while grain-handling and storage services were available from 9 July.

“We have complemented this with a significant quantity of offsite storage which has now been secured to back up quayside handling and storage,” said Mr Ward.

“We will continue to service our customer and farming base for both imports and exports of agricultural products to the best of our ability during this period of disruption.”