Wheat prices held steady at the end of the week despite a slightly stronger pound.
Sterling rose against the US dollar on the High Court’s decision that Parliament must vote on triggering Article 50, giving notice for the UK to leave the EU.
Spot feed wheat averaged £131.50/t ex-farm at mid-morning on Friday (4 November), up just 30p on the week and with values ranging from £127-£135/t ex-farm.
Milling wheat prices gained £1.70/t on the week to average £143.60/t spot.
Feed barley prices rose more than those for feed wheat, up almost £3/t to average £113/t ex-farm.
What kept wheat prices steady this week:
- Statistics showing UK millers’ use of wheat in the three months to the end of September – 1.545m tonnes of wheat, up 10% on last year and 88% of it home-produced. This is the highest level of domestic wheat used in this period since 2011. The figures include use by starch and bioethanol processors.
- Good export demand for UK milling wheat – in October, UK ex-farm bread wheat values were at a £36/t discount to German wheat, due to weak sterling.
- Weekly EU soft wheat export licence awards of 418,000 took the total to 8.2m tonnes in the year to date, compared to 7.3m tonnes a year ago.
- Relatively few farmer sellers.
- French wheat plantings are 60% complete and 12 percentage points behind last year.
- A slight rise in US wheat prices on a weaker dollar, short-covering, drier conditions in some key wheat growing areas and a likely drop in winter plantings.
- Higher Black Sea wheat prices rise as Ukraine exports slow.