Spot wheat falls on rumours of bumper crop

By FWi Staff

THE volatile spot-market for milling wheat ended down yesterday (19 August) as further evidence emerged of what could turn out to be a bumper harvest.

Bread wheat spot prices fell by more than £1/tonne as more farmers reported many milling varieties making 9-10 tonnes per hectare. Class One milling wheat is now worth £78/tonne. Class Two wheats are worth £72/tonne.

Forecasts of a 16-million-tonne harvest and the need for export could threaten to depress the market even further, warned economist Mark Buckingham of Banks Agriculture.

“The harvest has been later and slower than in past years and quality has been good, although some screening problems and low bushel weights have been experienced,” he said.

The market has remained relatively firm until now. But that is because farmers are filling barns and waiting to see what the prices are doing, Mr Buckingham added.

That view is backed by Paul Crump, trader at BDR Agriculture, who feels that recent buoyant prices were due to a lack of harvested grain on farms and many varieties of wheat being not quite ready.

Cargills Ian Wallis said the recent rally was driven mainly by consumer demand for spot supplies meeting farmer resistance. That helped push ex-farm prices to £70/tonne in some areas. But Mr Wallis believes the market is still fundamentally weak, and such prices could be short lived.

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