Wheat prices hold stable but US weather is key for crops

Wheat prices have remained relatively stable over the past week, despite concerns that the weather system known as El Niño will have a negative impact upon the 2015-16 crop.

Feed wheat fell by just 10p/t to a Farmers Weekly spot average of £107.10/t ex-farm, with milling wheat down by £2/t to £125.10/t.

The combination of low farmgate prices and the large 2014 crop meant that Defra had increased its forecast carryover of old season stocks to almost 3.1m tonnes at the end of May – almost 60% more than last year, said an HGCA report.

Sterling had strengthened against both the dollar and the euro in recent weeks, making UK grain less competitive on the export market. Exports were predicted to reach 2.2m tonnes this season, with April-June exports needing to reach 585,000t to achieve that forecast. “UK prices need to find further competitiveness to maintain export levels,” it added.

More than 20cm of rain had fallen in parts of the US in the past week, raising concerns about disease pressure and potential delays harvest.

Oklahoma and Texas – key wheat producing states – had been badly affected. US weather is likely to remain a market driver in the weeks ahead and more rain is forecast, said HGCA.

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