Wheat prices have been boosted this week by confirmation of a Russian export tax on the grain, effective from mid-February.
The tax runs alongside the previously announced export quota of 15m tonnes and is set at about £22.70/t in a bid to reduce record high domestic prices.
However, Russian farmers seem less than interested in selling at the moment, given concerns over new crop prospects, said Jonathan Lane, ADM Agriculture’s head of grain trading.
The export tax will run from mid-February to the end of June.
At home, regional spot feed wheat prices gathered by Farmers Weekly on Friday (18 December) were up by just over £3/t on the week, to average £187.50/t ex-farm.
Milling wheat for December put on £6/t over the week to average £209/t ex-farm, while barley, at almost £141/t, was unchanged.
The value of the pound has turned on the deal/no-deal speculation all week, although UK prices bucked that to a degree because of the Russia news and relatively strong demand.
“Over the next few weeks, cash markets will become ill-defined as seasonal logistics reduce availability,” said Mr Lane.
“Cash premiums should remain well supported into the new year, when hopefully we all should know where the UK stands trade-wise.
Analyst Strategie Grains has reduced its EU soft wheat harvest estimate for the current season by 300,000t to 129.6m tonnes.
Australia takes China to WTO on barley tariffs
Australia is asking the WTO to sanction China for the imposition of an 80% tariff on Australian barley shipments to the country.
The tariff is said to relate to Chinese allegations that Australian growers were being subsidised in contravention of WTO rules. Australian barley, beef and wine exports were initially hit by Chinese import taxes after it called for an inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 virus.
Australia is China’s largest trading partner.