Wheat harvest is under way in Russia and America, with better than expected yields putting further pressure on global markets.
Winter wheat harvest was 11% complete in America by 16 June – well down on last year, when it was 51% through, and on the three-year average of 25%. However, 43% was classed as poor to very poor, against 42% last week and 17% last year.
The USDA’s latest forecast cut global wheat production by 5m tonnes, to 696m tonnes – although that was still 40m tonnes more than last year. It also cut its maize forecast by 3m tonnes, to 963m tonnes, based on lower US yield expectations due to delayed plantings.
However, maize ending stocks were higher than trade estimates, which, combined with the better wheat yields, knocked prices down. According to analyst Agritel, wheat yields in Russia were good, at 5t/ha, compared with 2.8t/ha last year, and confirming its likely presence as a competitor in the world export market this season.
Domestic wheat markets followed the trend down, with new crop values losing about £5/t in the week to Wednesday (19 June), to around £157/t ex-farm for harvest. Oilseed rape matched the drop, settling at about £327/t for harvest movement.