Wheat prices stay firm

London’s November wheat futures stayed close to £150/t on Monday (23 August) on the back of speculation about the likely grain import requirement of Russia and worries over harvest progress.

At home, demand for feed wheat was relatively quiet towards the end of last week as compounders did their sums on least cost rations, said Gleadell in its weekly grain report. UK feed wheat remains export competitive but there is also new competition in that market.

The news that the German wheat harvest will contain a much higher proportion of feed grain than usual also has implications for producers here who have anything better than feed grain quality. Homes for this grain may develop at relatively short notice as Germany’s traditional milling wheat export customers are forced to look elsewhere, so it was important to have all grain tested as soon as possible, said traders. Breadmaking wheat premiums firmed last week to between £19 and £26/t, with the weather leading to fears for Hagbergs.

Much of Eastern Europe is still struggling to cut wheat in poor conditions after heavy rain. In Western Australia, welcome rain has improved prospects for the winter wheat crop but more is needed.

The UK was well placed to pick up Middle Eastern barley export business as traditional Baltic suppliers are out of the market, said Frontier Agriculture in its latest market report. However once the EU releases intervention barley then some of the strength could go out of the barley market.

All cereal harvest results so far from HGCA show yield slightly below five year averages although wheat results are improving as more crops come off heavier land.