FLOUR millers appear eager to secure grain supplies for the rest of the season – but from abroad rather than the UK.
A busy end of December has left many millers short of milling wheat, according to Allied Grain. As a result, domestic prices have improved and premiums are well over £20/ tonne for Group One wheat at 11% protein.
But mills continue to import large quantities from France, Germany and the USA.
Traders fear that UK wheat could become expensive unless Sterling weakens.
The Pound fell by more than 3 pfennigs last week after the Bank of England refused to increase interest rates. But it still remains above DM2.94 and some analysts are beginning to question whether it has embarked on a significant slide.
Ex-farm milling wheat prices increased by up to £1.80 on Friday, according to the Home-Grown Cereals Authority.
East Anglian bread wheat is now trading at £102.50/ tonne, with prices in the north-east of England at £105/ tonne.
Other wheat prices are £101.30 (South-east); £101.70 (South-west); £103.70 (Midlands); and £104.50 (North-west). Prices for Scotland were unavailable.
Futures fell slightly on Friday by £0.45. Contracts are now trading at for £81.90/ tonne (March); £83.90 (May); and £85.90 (July).