Uncertainty is likely to remain in the market for the remainder of the old wheat crop marketing campaign, and weather is now critical for the new crop. Analysts are expecting a record wheat crop for 2008/09. In the meantime, the new crop forwards market is broadly tracking old crop movements in the absence of solid market fundamentals of its own.

US futures responded sharply to the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand report issued last week. The report raised old-crop world wheat production estimates by 1.7 million tonnes (mt) to 606.7mt and ending stocks up by 2mt to 112.5mt. Although the stock level is still the lowest since 1977, the report was seen as generally positive.

In the US, Chicago wheat prices fell by $28-29/t during the week to $329.40/t for the current crop and $339.50/t for the growing crop. In Europe French wheat prices fell by E9/t to E235.75/t for May delivery and E208/t for November. However, UK prices did not track this global trend with London wheat prices at £175.50/t for May and £149/t for November.

HGCA delivered prices for the UK remained unchanged with bread making wheat for East Anglia and Liverpool at £208/t and £217/t respectively.