Bread wheat winning in 2021/22: Grain market daily

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Market commentary

  • UK feed wheat futures (May-22) slipped back a further £2.85/t yesterday to close at £219.15/t, potentially with traders cashing in on recent price highs.
  • The market is currently awaiting the USDA world agriculture supply and demand estimates, due out tonight (17:00 GMT).
  • Paris rapeseed futures (May-22) closed last night at €655.50/t, down €8.50/t from Fridays close, pressured by the wider oilseed and oil market.
  • Malaysian palm oil slipped a further 3.16% from Friday to Monday, to the lowest price since 4 October 2021.

Bread wheat winning in 2021/22

This marketing year, global wheat prices have been reaching record highs. UK futures have been no exception and physical domestic prices have been following suit.

Ex-farm feed wheat prices have been reaching near record levels in the AHDB corn returns price survey which dates back to January 1990. The latest average spot price was £214.70/t, the third highest price in the data, and the highest price since December 2012. Ex-farm UK bread wheat prices (spot) are surpassing all previous highs, averaging £255.40/t last week, with bread wheat in the North East, averaging £263.50/t, ex-farm.

Last week, the premium ex-farm UK bread wheat commanded over UK feed wheat totalled £40.70/t; £34.70/t more than the start of the marketing year. Bread wheat prices have been stretching throughout this season, as global concerns heightened, and UK availability tightened.

UK full specification milling wheat availability is tightening. Last week’s release of the Cereal Quality Survey (CQS) showed only 20% of UK flour millers Group 1 varieties reached the typical group 1 specification (specific weight≥76kg/hl, protein≥13.0%, HFN≥250s), down 12 percentage points from 2020. Haulage issues will also be feeding into the differing regional prices, as trucking wheat from the south up country is becoming increasingly difficult.

Milling wheat premium (monthly) November 2021

The start of the marketing year (July) saw bread wheat premiums below the previous ten-year (2011/12-2020/21) average and well below the small crop year of 2020. However, they have since grown exponentially. The premium in November (so far) has exceeded the ten-year average, although not quite reached the £45.00/t mark of Feb-15. But, with limited import options, could these premiums be widened further?

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