Weaker sterling pushes grain prices higher

Feed wheat prices put on more than £4/t this week to average £139/t spot ex-farm.

Sterling’s fall to a three-month low against the US dollar improved the UK’s export competitiveness and boosted prices. Around the regions the spread has narrowed compared with a few weeks ago to stand at £136/t-£142/t ex-farm for January.

UK wheat exports have reached more than 1m tonnes for the first time in five years for this point in the season.

See also: Outlook 2017- combinable crops will need flexible management

November saw 165,700t shipped from the UK compared with 145,000t in October and 200,800t in November 2015.

Barley prices gained almost as much as wheat, up by more than £3/t to an average of £119/t ex-farm.

November saw food barley exports from the UK at 138,500t compared with 71,700t in October. However, exports for the season so far at 568,600t are well behind last year’s 647,000t.

Oilseed rape price

Oilseed rape prices also improved, though not by as much as cereals, to an average price of £351/t ex-farm for January. Record US soya bean output is expected but a cut in the US Department of Agriculture’s crop size forecast lifted oilseeds markets generally.

EU oilseed rape stocks are relatively low, with 4m tonnes of imports from Australia and Canada expected to make up the shortfall.

Feed pea and feed bean prices rose on average £4/t this week to stand at £138/t and £148/t ex-farm respectively.