Grain price: UK wheat in the red this week

LIFFE wheat for November tumbled into the red this week. Having finished at £172.25/t (€197.72/t) last Friday (November 2), the price dropped by over £5/t (€5.74/t) over the course of this week. MATIF and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) prices were variable.

USDA supply and demand estimates

World wheat supplies are raised by 6.7 million tonnes according to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) World Supply and Demand Estimates report for November.

The report states that this is largely due to a forecasted higher harvested area and yield for 2018/2019 production in China.

Wheat use in the US is raised 7 million bushels, thought mainly to be due to higher seed use. The 2019/2020 wheat area in the US is expected to increase.

2018/2019 production in Australia is estimated to be down 1 million tonnes to 17.5 million tonnes as a result of on-going drought.

This is affecting global exports, which are lowered 1.6 million tonnes – this is almost all due to a smaller Australian crop. Australia’s exports were lowered by 1.5 million tonnes to 11.5 million tonnes – the lowest since 2007/2008.

Corn production is forecast to be higher from China, Ukraine, Argentina and Moldova. In the US, corn production is forecast to be down by 152 million bushels to 14.626 billion bushels. However, feed and residual use is also down due to the smaller crop and higher prices, according to the USDA.


LIFFE wheat started the week down on Friday’s price of £172.25/t (€197.72/t). On Monday (November 5), LIFFE wheat for November closed at £170.05/t (€195.20/t). That took a hit as the week went on and landed on £167/t (€191.70/t) on Thursday (November 8) and sat in that position on Friday afternoon, November 9.


The MATIF price for December was up and down during the week, but not dramatically. However, by the end of the week the price dropped below €200/t. It hit €199.75/t on Friday morning, November 9, but recovered in the afternoon to €200.25/t last week; the price hit €198.50/t on Wednesday (October 31).

MATIF wheat price for December:
  • Monday, November 5 – €200.25/t;
  • Tuesday, November 6 – €201.75/t;
  • Wednesday, November 7 – €201.25/t;
  • Thursday, November 8 – €200.00/t;
  • Friday, November 9 – €200.25/t.


CBOT wheat for December told a similar story to the MATIF price. It started the week (Monday, November 5) at 507.25c/bu (€164.10/t) and by Thursday (November 8) was back at 507.75c/bu (€164.42/t). It hit a high of 512c/bu (€165.72/t) on Tuesday (November 6).