While wheat yield is up this year, bakers should expect a wide price spectrum depending on which type they need. 

Jack Watts, lead analyst of cereals and oilseed for AHDB Intelligence, told delegates at the HGCA Grain Market Outlook conference in London that it will be a “complex market” for wheat this season.

China has retreated from the import market, with self-sufficiency being the main goal.

Yield has generally been good and above the dearth of 2010 to 2012, particularly in the northern hemisphere. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has produced 204Mt, up 13% with Europe up 10% at 37Mt. Those with the most reduced production are Australia with 37Mt, down 5% and Near East Asia down 14% at 51Mt.

Watts also drew attention to the “growing dominance of maize”, predicting production to increase to 1 billion tonnes by 2016. Wheat production for 2014/2015 is just over 700Mt while maize sits at just under 1,000Mt. Projected wheat production by 2021/2022 is just over 750Mt, while maize is expected to reach more than 1,100Mt by the same point.

“Without a weather event to keep it in check, expect to feel the increasing dominance of maize – even directly into the UK market,” warned Watts.

Meanwhile. global barley supply and demand looks to remain tight, but has to follow the dynamics of the broader grain market to avoid being priced out of demand. Watts suggested that barley could be getting marginalised by increasingly competitive crops such as oilseeds and maize.