Agricultural analysts are warning of continuing uncertainty in global grain markets for the foreseeable future, due to possible bad weather and future harvests in the southern hempishere.

Speaking at the recent Grain Market Outlook Conference, Steve Jesse, head of agricultural commodities sales at Barclays Capital, said the markets would be much more sensitive to further weather-related setbacks for at least the next year until the world’s grain producers replenished stocks. "With a limited amount of additional acreage in the main growing countries, it may well take even longer for all markets to build stocks to sufficient levels to push actual prices and volatility back to levels we enjoyed six months ago," said Jesse.

Jack Watts, senior analyst market intelligence cereals and oilseeds at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, added: "We’ll have to wait another nine to 12 months for any price changes. If Russia decides to return as an exporter, that has potential to put downward pressure on the markets. It will be the next crop before markets have the potential to move lower."

He said there was still record demand for grains around the world, fuelled mainly by an increase in the global population and affluence, resulting in increased meat demand, which was putting pressure on production in terms of crop yield.