Wheat prices have improved again this week, aided by dwindling US maize prospects and strong export demand.
As Farmers Weekly went to press, ex-farm values had reached about £159/t for spot movement – £3.50/t up on the week. Wheat quality so far was excellent, which had reduced feed wheat availability and further supported spot prices, said Simon Ingle at Openfield. Top milling wheat premiums had narrowed to about £17/t, but new export interest to the Continent would maintain or even boost current values, he added.
"There is still 50% of the UK wheat crop to harvest, and there are issues with German and Ukrainian quality."
In the US, analysts reckoned the US Department of Agriculture would slash almost 2% off estimated maize yields in its next report, after a 3.6% drop last month. "Crop ratings have dropped, and the balance sheet is already very tight," said Mr Ingle. "The market is being driven by speculators, so it’s difficult to read."
Global export demand had boosted Russian wheat prices, halving their discount to French wheat, to about $20/t (£12/t). "But we need to watch the Australian wheat crop, which could reach record levels and cut southern hemisphere demand."