Grain prices steady on thin trade

By FWi staff

OLD-CROP grain prices remained steady last week as the forthcoming harvest draws near. But farmers seem equally uninterested in trading new-crop supplies.

Domestic returns for old-crop wheat are virtually unchanged on the week at about £72/ tonne ex-farm. Old-crop barley prices are stuck at about £69/ tonne.

Old-crop grain supplies are “almost tidied up” and there is little to suggest prices will budge before harvest, according to the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.

But although traders are now chasing new crop contracts, farmers appear unwilling to sell at current values.

Many growers feel that new-crop prices are too low, and are hoping for the market to pick up. But although prices have risen slightly, traders report only thin activity on a futures market which remains currency-driven.

LIFFE wheat contracts opened the week at £75/ tonne (June), £76.75 (July), £78.75 (November) and £80.75 (January 99). Barley contracts are worth £73.50 (September), £75.50 (November), and £77.50 (January 99).

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