Promising harvest yields drive down grain prices

Grain prices have continued to drift over the past week, as harvest pressure and large yields across the US and EU weigh on the markets. London wheat futures reached new lows on Tuesday, losing £5/t on the week to £125.15/t for January.

Wheat yields across Europe and Russia were large although rain had affected milling quality in France, said David Sheppard, managing director at Gleadell Agriculture. “If the UK ends up with a ‘better-than-feed’ crop, prices could be supported as the UK may be able to tap into some export demand. However, if it is just average feed, the likelihood of increased ‘feed’ supplies in the EU and the potential for cheaper corn prices could drive prices even lower,” he said.

The current unrest between Russia and Ukraine also had the potential to dramatically affect grain markets especially if export supplies were disrupted.

Malting barley yields and quality were good, with both winter and spring barley coming into the barn, said sales director Stuart Shand. “However, there’s very little buying demand because so much was sold on contract pre-harvest.” Winter barley premiums were pegged at about £12/t over feed for harvest movement, depending on proximity to the maltsters, with spring barley premiums at around £20/t.