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Current wheat crop set to be the largest in four years

The current wheat crop is set to be a big improvement on last year – and potentially the largest since 2015.

Recent good weather has helped with harvesting, and around 80% of the UK wheat crop is now in, according to the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Yields for wheat crops are currently above the five-year average of 8.3 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), and are averaging 8.8 to 9.0t/ha.

Based on AHDB estimates for planting area, this means production should range between 15.9Mt and 16.2Mt, which would be 17-20% higher than last year’s crop. Hot weather impacted the wheat crop in the UK and many parts of Europe last year, although there were variations in yield across regions and soil types.

The strong crop means there is potential for a large surplus of wheat for export, according to AHDB analyst Aidan Wright.

He added that, with the likelihood of tariffs on goods exported into the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the pricing situation after October is highly uncertain.

“Globally, the wheat market remains well supplied and there appears to be little upside from a fundamental standpoint,” he said.

“Domestically, pricing will remain highly driven by exchange rates. The continual uncertainty and possibility of a parliamentary shutdown has meant that sterling has weakened over the past few days [as of 30 August].”


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