By Robert Harris
TIMELY sales of suitable wheat to the right homes have produced an overall average feed wheat price of 75.49/t for Banks Agricultures January-March pool, claims wheat director Richard Whitlock.
Apart from a few weeks in October and November this was well ahead of the open market ex-farm price through the selling period, he adds.
Regional average prices varied from 75.23/t in East Anglia to 73.70/t in central England, mainly reflecting transport costs.
Most of the pool was sold by the turn of the year.
“The dominating feature of the UK market has been the huge surplus overhanging the French market and this has provided a constant cap to any possible upturn in our prices and limited our export opportunities,” says Mr Whitlock.
A near 10% strengthening of sterling since Jan 1 has also put wheat prices under constant pressure to compete on export markets, he adds.
“It is only now, well after the pool movement period has ended, that prices have started to recover to levels anywhere near the lowest achieved by the Banks pool.”
Group 1 bread wheat prices ranged from 89.70/t to over 95.56/t.
“Bread premiums have been adversely affected by the large imported tonnage from North America. Millers continue to blend lower grades of wheat with top-quality imported wheat which has put a firm lid on Group 1 premium.”
Group 2 prices ranged from 81.50 to 87.32/t. Feed barley averaged 78.73/t, oilseed rape 150.51/t.