Gleadell’s January-March wheat pool ’a solid performance in a difficult market’

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Farmers have received solid base prices of £130/t ex farm after commission in the Gleadell January-March pool for feed wheat.

The figure represents a good performance in a challenging market, said Gleadell’s managing director David Sheppard.

Strong milling premiums were also achieved, with an additional £40/t for Group 1 varieties, £38/t for Cordiale, £37/t for other Group 2s and £17/t for 11.3% protein Group 1 and 2s.

“These results epitomise an excellent performance in a volatile and recently much weaker milling wheat market,” said Mr Sheppard.

“The sheer volume of global grain supply has kept prices on the defensive since the Northern Hemisphere harvest began last summer. Despite a record pace of EU wheat exports and historically low prices in US dollar terms, it remains the case that stocks of corn (maize) and wheat will be rebuilt by the end of this marketing year.”

The UK market has been a complex, choppy but mainly weaker affair all season long, he added. Extremely competitive EU corn and aggressively priced French feed wheat had largely removed the demand normally seen for small coaster size vessels.

“Indeed the only real demand we have seen for UK wheat has been in large size (50,000t+) vessels for the Asian market,” he said. “Conversely, imports of corn and wheat have continued at a healthy pace and indeed as of the end of January we had imported the same volume of wheat that we had exported.”

As a result the UK would end the season with a high level of stocks (approximately 3mln t) which could weigh heavily on the market as long as new crop continues to develop satisfactorily, Mr Sheppard warned.

“Market prospects for the coming season are still, to an extent, up in the air. However most crops have emerged from winter in reasonable shape and spring plantings are largely complete.

“There is always the danger of a summer drought or other market-moving weather event, but the time window for a major turnaround is narrowing,” he added.

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