Market trading: Wheat futures near £300 a tonne

November wheat futures are at £293/t vs £40/t the week the Scottish Farmer went to press. This new high is just £29/t above the old crop May futures market which is reported at £322/t by AHDB. The rise in the futures market comes as the USDA cut the estimate for Ukraine’s grain harvest by 20% due to a reduction in sown area. Additionally, the lack of rain in the US and parts of Europe is dampening optimism about bumper yields.

Concerns are growing globally about the impact of rising wheat prices and the ability to feed the world. One of the world’s largest wheat importers, Egypt, is now paying £380/t for imported wheat after transport, well above the £260/t paid before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Closer to home, Scottish grain farmers are considering how much of this year’s crop to sell forward. The current momentum in trade will encourage malting barley producers to “lock in” if they haven’t already. But many growers have already priced in after contracts worth £200/t were offered after the 2021 harvest. Those contracts that looked profitable last year are now around a third below that farmers are waiting for this season’s harvest.

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