Grain price: Record broken as UK wheat hits highest price since 2012

On August 1, LIFFE wheat hit a high of £189.75/t (€213.01/t). This is the highest price recorded – on that date – on record and beats the 2012 price for the same day by £0.75/t. The price climbed again on Thursday to £192.30/t (€215.88/t).

The records being reached are a reflection of the shortages of grain across Europe.

AgriLand reported this week that the Irish feed trade needs 73% extra compound feed this winter. Where this grain is going to come from is the next question on the millers’ minds.

Green barley prices at home are strengthening. €190/t and over has been reported. This could move higher as yields decrease worldwide.

What’s going on around the world?

EU grain production estimates remain down, as drought plays havoc with crop yields. Germany expects to have the lowest wheat yield that the country has seen in 15 years at 18 million tonnes – down from 24.1 million tonnes in 2017.

In the UK, wheat yields are expected to be 5% to 8% below the five-year average, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). Winter barley looks to be close to, or slightly below average yields, while just 2% of the spring barley harvest is complete.

In the southern hemisphere, Australia – the fourth largest wheat exporter globally – expects to have a smaller harvest. This is also due to drought.

Across the Atlantic in the US, the majority of maize crops are reported to be in fair-to-good condition, according to USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) crop reports.

Of 18 states surveyed in the US, 85% of winter wheat was harvested as of July 29. Spring wheat harvest has also started, but only 4% is complete in the states surveyed.

Meanwhile, soybean prices are improving, as there are hopes of an agreement between the US and China on trade.

LIFFE

As mentioned earlier, LIFFE wheat prices reached a record high for August 1 this year, hitting £189.75/t (€212.96/t) This was up from £187/t (€209.93/t) on Monday. By Thursday, the price had climbed to £192.30/t (€215.82/t) and dropped to £191.35t (€214.75/t) on Friday.

MATIF

The MATIF price for December was rising all week. It stood at €204/t on Monday (July 30) and moved to €208.25/t on Wednesday (August 1), before jumping to €213.25/t on Thursday (August 2). By Friday, that price had dropped to €211.75/t.

CBOT

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat for September was no different to the above; it climbed all week. Starting at 546.50c/bu (€173.26/t) on Monday (July 30), the price had reached 560.50c/bu (€177.69/t) by Thursday (August 2).