UK grain prices firm as farmers hold on to stocks

Grain prices continued to strengthen towards the end of the week, on slightly stronger demand at home and crop concerns elsewhere.

This put November 2014 London feed wheat futures at £123.20/t on Friday afternoon (14 November) and January 2015 at £126/t.

“In the UK it appears that the festive break has started early as a marked pick-up in demand has done little to encourage farmer selling,” said Gleadell managing director David Sheppard.

“Farm prices continue to find support and, with producers unwilling to chase the market lower, the likelihood is for further gains, especially in the spot position.”

See also: Camgrain hands marketing role to Frontier from harvest 2015

US winter wheat growth is threatened by a cold snap while drought in Australia could reduce yields. Parts of Russia are also very dry while further military action in Ukraine added to the mix. A weaker sterling boosted UK price slightly.

The first GB plantings estimate lent further strength – a drop in wheat area was widely anticipated and the HGCA survey has confirmed this at a 5% fall to 1.8m ha, with winter barley up 12% to 476,000ha and the oat area  down 13% to 118,000ha

Oilseed rape is down 4% to 649,000ha and as expected  pulses have gained with an area 24% to 171,000ha

Across the EU-28 member states, the total wheat crop for 2015 is forecast by analyst Strategie Grains at 148.7m tonnes, down 4% drop on this year.