November wheat futures are £293/t up from £40/t on the week at the time the Scottish Farmer went to press. This new high is only £29/t above the old crop May futures market which is reported at £322/t by AHDB. The rising futures market comes off the back of the USDA reducing the Ukrainian grain harvest estimate by 20% due to a reduction in area planted. In addition, a lack of rain in the US and parts of Europe is reducing optimism for bumper yields.

Concerns are growing globally on the impact of rising wheat prices and the ability to feed the world. One of the world’s largest wheat importers, Egypt, is now paying £380/t for imported wheat after transport, which is well above the £260/t paid before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Closer to home Scottish cereal growers are considering how much of this year’s harvest crop to sell forward. The current buoyant trade will be tempting malting barley farmers to ‘lock on’ if they have not already done so. But many growers have already set their price after contracts worth £200/t were offered after harvest 2021. These contracts which appeared profitable last year, now sit around one third below what farmers expect for this season’s crop.