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Cereals market intelligence - archive

The organic cereals market

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture November 2014

Grain and Pulse markets have been fairly quiet recently in pre-Christmas positions, although we do detect an improvement in sentiment despite a lot of feed grade material still hanging over the marketplace.

The first frosts of winter have concentrated the minds of buyers, and they have now largely completed their 2014 purchasing requirements without difficulty as too often organic suppliers only trade in nearby positions. We can however offer good carries into 2015 for forward sellers, please enquire.

There remain some simply amazing premiums for samples that achieve milling and/or malting specifications do not miss any opportunity!

Current values, ex farm Nov/Dec collection
Feed wheat £192, Milling £POA, Feed barley £182, Malting £210, Beans £268, Triticale £180.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture October 2014

As suspected, market values have been largely unchanged from the last update. Sentiment remains weak in all feed markets pre Christmas, but we feel buyers do have the majority of their requirements still to purchase. A mild start to October has meant animal feed demand has been subdued, but we have to say that farm suppliers are also reluctant sellers at current values while they are also busy with cultivations. We remain of the opinion that those wanting to sell before the year end should make sales sooner rather than later. It may be worth noting that non-organic wheat has already traded at under £100.

Some spring yields have been a little disappointing, so we feel domestic supply may not be quite as originally thought, but as an import reliant country anyway, a tighter UK supply position is not a game changer. Some animal feed mills have become used to using more consistent and higher protein imported wheats, and there will always be demand for Maize for some rations.

Most milling wheat protein levels are low this season, so those lucky enough to have proteins in excess of 10.5% should see very good premiums on offer.
Samples and good communication with your buyers should be a priority ( and especially so in a fragile market ); we are always surprised at the minority who appear to have no marketing strategy other than phoning in on the day of sale!

Current prices, ex farm, subject location
Feed wheat £190, barley £182, oats £165, beans £260. Milling and malting £tbc on sample.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture August 2014

Harvest already seems to have been in play for over a month, after persistent rain delays seen during late August. Certainly early cut samples have been very good quality in terms of specific weight, and we hope that later cut cereals have not yet been affected by adverse weather. Organic yields are reported to be good to slightly above average, and the wider UK wheat harvest looks to be some 4.5 million tonnes over last year.

The non-organic cereal market has been particularly weak due to a surplus of feed grade wheat this year in Europe, and this sentiment has unfortunately led organic prices down in tandem. As reported in previous updates, buyers have only bought in their immediate requirements, and still have the majority of their forward cover to buy at a later date. As we go to press, there is little to provide support to prices, but we feel that downside to current prices should now be limited. The big question is will prices improve, or will sellers find that there is no carry in the market? We strongly suggest that farms send their buyers representative samples once harvest is complete we are confident in our ability to place all grades to the most suitable buyer. We offer a freepost sample service to all regions of the UK, please call us on 01284 764915 for more details.

Current values ex farm (subject exact location) for September collection:
Feed wheat £194, milling £poa depending on protein, feed barley £182, oats £180, beans £255.

The organic cereals market

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture June 2014

With the old crop season just about played out, we find ourselves in a wait for new crop situation. Grain markets ( including Organic ) have fallen sharply over the last month as potentially large crops in the Northern hemisphere weigh heavily on price prospects. Farm sellers view current bid values as too low ( we understand that conventional feed wheat is now below the cost of production ) and have simply shut up shop until harvest. Organic buyers have also been content to watch cereal values slip but we feel that they do have a lot to buy beyond August, which should lend some support if they all come to the market to buy at the same time!

Our farm suppliers report arable crops as looking very well at present, although we could all probably use some more sunshine as crops mature. We have been fairly busy trading proteins through the winter as these materials currently look good value. Please speak to us for a quote if you are interested. We think values have found a level for the time being, but expect some volatility depending on the quality/quantity of the 2014 crop.

Current values, ex farm, subject location-

Feed wheat £210 Sept, Feed barley/Triticale £204, Beans £280. Milling and malting prices on request.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture May 2014

Organic grain markets have been stable recently with most of the larger consumer buyers now fully bought until July. Some farms have been selling surplus feedstock onto the market which has kept trade active into smaller retail users of grain, but as we move into May there is renewed pressure from sellers to clear stores which could push values lower pre July as they seek a buyer. The continued political unrest in Ukraine has kept markets on alert given that they sell around 30 million tonnes of grain a year, and it should be noted that Ukrainian organic material has consistently been very competitive into the UK.

Thus far, they have been aggressive sellers, but supplies of 2013 harvest produce are now running low. New crop farm trading is as usual very slow pre harvest regular farm contacts generally report crops look very well at present, but currently there is little interest in trading forward, although we are now receiving regular valuation enquiries. With hopefully a more 'normal' home grown crop drilled for 2014/15, we should see a larger domestic crop availability this marketing season. Looking forward to proposed changes in CAP/farm support mechanisms, there are signs that organic producers could see improved returns, which could conceivably encourage some farms to switch back into organics. As usual, the devil will be in the detail!

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture March 2014

Markets have been quieter of late as farms concentrate on spring drilling, and buying demand is reduced as summer feed rations are reduced. There are some good opportunities for late in the season. Prices have eased off recent highs following the Ukrainian situation ( a huge exporter of Organic and non Organic raw material feedstuffs ) but new offers from that region are hard to come by. UK availability of unsold grain is low after the small harvest of last year, and we hope that a larger 2014 harvest will improve the supply situation. Consumers generally would prefer to source domestic produce where they can, but supply has been a major issue in the recent past. New crop markets have yet to become established, but look to be around £225 for September wheat.

We would like to know your cropping areas for the 2014/15 season so that we can improve links between farms and buyers since the market has become fragmented recently.
Current values ex farm - £240 Feed Wheat, £232 Feed barley, £305 Beans. We remain keen buyers of milling wheat, price will depend on protein.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture February 2014

Organic grain markets have been supported through January and February, but we are beginning to feel that the wheat market in particular has possibly peaked. As we look to the Spring, farms are now offering surplus feed stock for sale, while at the same time consumers look to reduced feed demand from livestock customers not a good combination! Maize remains the cheapest cereal raw material as reported in earlier bulletins which is also a negative feature. We feel therefore that those wanting to sell pre Easter should do so whilst that there are delivery slots available, as you will soon be competing with other sellers. Those wishing to hold for May and further forward have more time opportunity to sell.

We are now turning our attention to new crop prospects. The first step should be to let your buyer know your cropping details so that he/she can keep you updated with market developments relevant to you. The non-organic market sentiment is weak given a return to a 'normal' UK cereal harvest, with a return to a larger wheat crop in 2014 following two poor seasons in a row. Clearly, most organic cropping is spring sown, and we should already be busy drilling as we go to press, but many areas remain too wet to proceed. Progress reports would be gratefully received.

Current values, ex farm March, and subject location and quality
Feed wheat £240, Barley £228, Oats £205, Beans £305. Milling wheat £288 and oats £235.
New crop harvest wheat £221, barley £210.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture January 2014

Organic grain prices have remained firm thus far in 2014, and despite a much weaker non Organic market since the turn of the year. Even the oat market has seen an increase after a seemingly hopeless outlook in the autumn! However, we feel that prices will start to ease in our market, since not only does Organic maize remain the cheapest available cereal ( to the tune of £20/tonne under wheat ), the lack of a winter to date means that the larger feed compounders have simply not been as busy as they would like. Sellers really should take note of all these factors as we do not feel current prices are sustainable going forward.
Demand for UK produced milling wheat is strong; we would really encourage growers to switch into quality spring wheat production where possible to supply this market.
The UK Organic retail market does seem stronger at present, and with a huge non Organic 2014/15 harvest predicted, we hope that Organic premiums should start to improve after several lean seasons.

Current values February ex farm, full loads, and subject location;
Feed wheat £245, Barley/Triticale £225, Oats £220, and Beans £305.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture November 2013

Domestic cereal markets have been relatively quiet of late since clearly pre New Year sellers have now completed their sales programmes, and farm longholders of stock are generally biding their time. We also understand that the majority of single farm payments have been made, so cashflow requirement is not a valid reason for spot selling either! Farms have had the opportunity of an extended cultivation window this year, and certainly the potential for a very large non Organic wheat crop of 2014/15 looms large.
On the buy side, the long mild autumn/winter has meant animal feed demand has been low and the larger mill units are currently overbought going into January. Wheat usage is particularly vulnerable to increased maize and barley purchasing into mills given that they are cheaper raw materials, so we strongly suggest that those with crops still to sell at least let their usual buyers know what is available.
For those holding grain into the New Year, we also advise that stores are carefully monitored so that any risk of infestation is kept to acceptable levels. We are aware of some high moisture levels on several farms so a watching brief is essential, particularly for Organic stock where chemical intervention is prohibited.

Milling wheat remains in very good demand, but prices will reflect individual quality so please speak to us for a value. Oats remain oversupplied at the moment, but this can change so again, talk to your buyer as there will be opportunities along the way.
Guide prices, basis 29 tonne loads, ex farm January and subject location-
Feed Wheat £232, Milling £270, Feed barley £218, Oats £200, Beans £300.

Finally, all of us at Saxon wish you a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture October 2013

Markets appear to have found a level for pre Christmas delivery, with some support being provided by consumer buyers continuing to buy mainly on a hand to mouth basis. Farms have had a good opportunity to make headway with drilling during a benign October, and many report that they have now finished autumn cultivations. As reported previously, the quality of UK cereals is greatly improved this year but the downside is the quantities are greatly reduced indeed, Defra wheat planted area figures for last year reveal a 30 year low after the inclement autumn of 2012. The hot summer did not help yields of spring crops either, and therefore UK wheat availability is limited. With the UK being import reliant, prices are governed by import replacement prices and it should be noted that maize is already some £20 cheaper than feed wheat. These wheat/maize cargoes have begun to arrive and consumers do now have the option to switch into these alternatives, so we would suggest anyone looking to sell in what remains of 2013 actively gets on with crop marketing.
Oats are the biggest headache at present, with a large crop still to place and very few buyers evident. We do however believe that millers have most of their New Year requirement to buy, so hopefully this will lend support in due course.

Ex farm price indications, basis 29 tonne loads and subject location and final quality are;
Wheat £233, Milling wheat £263, Barley £218, Malting barley £242, Oats £200, Triticale £220, Beans £300, and Peas £305.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture September 2013

With harvest now behind us and a good window of opportunity for landwork, farmers have been taking full advantage of conditions to get on with cropping plans for next season. Grain markets have stabilised after sustained falls over recent months, but Organic output premiums are still weak.
Yields may have been variable but at least quality is much improved over last year, but some cereals, notably Oats, are oversupplied and it is already very difficult to sell for autumn collection. Wheat on the other hand is in good demand, and with wholesale buyers now looking at buying pre Christmas material, we feel that sales should now be made as these opportunities arise. A good proportion of barley samples will make malting grade this season, so samples should be sent to potential buyers to confirm required specifications are met.
Imported grains and proteins are now available, and trading activity has increased dramatically from the end of September after a slow summer trend.
Prices, subject location and basis 29 tonne loads collected ex farm
Feed wheat £226, Feed Barley/Triticale £215, Feed Oats £185, and Beans £295. Premiums are available for milling wheat and malting barley, but samples are required to establish prices.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture August 2013

Organic markets have been fairly quiet as harvest approached. Market prices have remained defensive with few sellers and buyers wanting to participate which has been frustrating over the last few weeks.
What had originally seemed a potentially late harvest was actually brought forward by the novelty of the hot July and benign August weather in most of the UK. Many buyers had bought extra supplies of old crop material after being caught out the previous season and so have not needed to buy quick delivery new crop stocks, and with feed demand low in the summer, there has been little scope for volume business. As we go to press, we have seen some really nice samples of cereals, and we anticipate that we will not have the problems of last season when each load seemed to attract large quality claims on delivery. Yield information is patchy with many regions in the West having only recently started, whereas in the South and East harvest is almost completed.
Organic retail sales have continued to improve this year which is very encouraging, and with supply perhaps more limited we hope that this extra demand will keep premiums attractive for producers in future.

Guide prices ex farm September collection, basis 29 tonnes; Feed wheat £230, Barley £218, Oats £230, and Beans £300.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture July 2013

New crop trading activity has been limited for two reasons firstly, farms have been reluctant to sell pre harvest after the poor yields and indifferent quality seen last season, and secondly, buyers have taken the view that prices will continue to weaken as harvest forecasts anywhere other than in the UK look potentially very large. Consumers have therefore stayed away from the market which has been frustrating.
The EU 2013 wheat crop as a whole is set to be 8% higher this year, and even more importantly, Eastern European crops are said to be huge. We are reading of yields over there of being up to 35% higher, and with an increase of available grain it is no wonder that all agricultural markets have weakened over the last few weeks. Unfortunately for us as sellers this bearish sentiment means very simply that buyers believe that if they delay buying it will be cheaper when they do come to purchase something.
We are of the opinion that harvest values will remain weak, but that post harvest could see an improvement as buyers will have to come to market eventually. It is important to note that this does not only apply to Organic values, we understand that the non Organic market faces exactly the same challenge.
As we go to press, the winter barley harvest in the UK has started; early indications are much improved quality in terms of specific weight and sample appearance, but very low nitrogens which may increase feed barley supply. The wheat harvest is clearly some way off, growing conditions have been favourable despite some spring cropping wilting in the heat of July. We hope however that the weather pattern does not break down just as crops mature. Growers generally tell us that crops look very well, but we always appreciate any updated feedback, so please speak to us on 01284 764915.

Price indications, ex farm, 29 tonne loads subject location
Feed wheat £240, Milling wheat £272, Feed barley £230, Milling Oats £238, Triticale £233, and Beans £300.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture April 2013

Organic markets have simmered down after a very strong start to the year, as spring weather now seems to have arrived and therefore feed demand declines. As usual in the Organic marketplace at this time of year, we are also seeing additional supplies of cereals being made available as a combination of longholders and surplus stocks held back on livestock farms are being offered to the market. Consumers appear to have good levels of cover at the moment, although there will inevitably be opportunities and especially so since harvest looks to be late this year. Once again therefore, if you do have material to sell, we strongly suggest that you speak to your potential buyer.
We currently value wheat and barley at £280 for May/June collection, triticale at £270, oats also at £270, with beans at £328.

The UK Organic retail market has improved through February following the horsemeat issues seen in the processed food sector, and may yet see some benefit from the recent news that some supermarkets are relaxing their ban on GM feed in poultry rations. Certainly the Organic poultry sector, which is should be a big user of UK grain, needs a boost following a very difficult few years. The Organic sector as a whole really needs to push the fact that the only real way to avoid GM is to buy Organic.
Mainland Europe and American Organic markets still show positive growth, it is very disappointing to note that the UK remains the weakest link.

New crop prices have started at good levels, but potential sellers are reluctant to sell forward following the yield and quality issues of last year. Warmer weather in mid April has assisted crop development, and spring drilling is underway with good progress being reported into warmer seedbeds.
We value September wheat at £268, with feed barley at £258.

Please speak to us directly on 01284 764915 for prices relevant to your sample and location.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture March 2013

Organic markets have quietened down pre Easter as farms concentrate on landwork in any weather window opportunities, but recent snowfall is delaying spring planting programmes, and winter crop growth is kept in check by cold weather. Buyers continue to buy very much on a sporadic load by load basis from domestic stock but we do feel that consumer buyers still have reasonable volumes to buy from April onwards. We therefore suggest that you advise us of what you may have still available. Feed demand will inevitably reduce as we move into April, but there will always be opportunities for spot selling, but only if we know what you have!

We understand that Organic retail trade has improved from January ( possibly as a result of the horse meat issue in the processed food market ) and that Organic milk sales are up year on year. Certainly continental markets are buoyant, and we are now seeing more interest from overseas buyers as their own home grown supply dwindles. The UK Organic market remains fragile, mainly due to the lack of promotion in supermarkets that still account for over 70% of all sales.

We believe that prices may slip as we move into the last quarter of the current marketing season, although there is always the possibility of a sting in the tail if harvest is delayed as last season. Be aware that maize is already trading into feed mills at over £30/tonne cheaper than wheat. Values for harvest wheat are circa £260 ex farm for November, with barley at £248. We are now starting to see new crop buying interest, so would welcome your views/progress reports on drilling and or cropping intentions.

As we go to press, we now value April ex farm feed wheat at £308, barley at £300, triticale at £295, feed oats at £248, and beans £322. Please speak directly to us on 01284 764915 for a firm quote relevant to your sample and location.

Events Events Events
We are hosting 3 very informative farm meetings in early May in Oxfordshire, Staffordshire, and West Yorkshire. We will also have a stand this year at Cereals in Lincolnshire on June 12/13th, and will be at the Organic Farmers and Growers Organic Cereals event in Shropshire on July 2nd.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture February 2013

Most buying interest for Organic cereals and Pulses is now for April and forward months, since buyers now have good cover for March. We see markets set at current levels in the medium term, as imported material is now getting more expensive as sterling weakens against the dollar. UK stocks are at low levels (with the exception of Organic Oats), but we advise sellers not to miss any opportunities unless they are prepared to hold into June as nearby months do get sold into quickly. There remains a big price discount into new crop, so there seems little point in holding grain into the summer.

Clearly, new crop price levels will depend on spring drilling progress (and we have seen some landwork in the East recently!). It does seem that the UK arable crop will be limited again for the 2013 given the lack of autumn drilling, but it seems that mainland European crops look in good condition, so there could be sustained competition from overseas.

Organic retail markets generally do seem to be staging some recovery which is encouraging. Perhaps the best advice we can offer is to let your potential buyers know what you have, or are likely to have, for sale. Too often in Organics sellers and buyers are often unaware of each others presence.

We see values as follows, basis April
Feed wheat £308, Feed Barley £300, Feed Oats £258, and Beans at £315.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture January 2013

Organic cereal and pulse markets have remained supported into the New Year as supplies of UK origin material are becoming tight following the poor 2012 harvest, which was officially the worst harvest for 23 years. Consumer users of wheat have been actively buying imported grain since the autumn to improve average specific weights and to guarantee adequate volumes into mills. This means that most mills now have good purchase cover until Easter, but they will require additional supply for April and forward positions. Feed wheat has been trading at £305+ for January, basis standard 72kg feed specification, but it should be noted imported is also at this price level which could conceivably limit further rises. Barley is also sought after, and is worth circa £290 ex farm for February. If you have wheat or barley to sell, please let us know. Oats however are oversupplied, and are struggling to find a nearby outlet. Feed grade oats are worth approximately £255 for March collection, whilst milling oats have traded at £270 ex for June. Feed beans are trading at £315, but demand (and supply) is limited.

In summary, the Organic market has risen steadily through the year despite a sharp fall in the non-organic market over the Christmas period. The Organic premium is therefore currently at its best for the season.

After 2 or 3 years of decline, the UK Organic market is now showing a modest recovery, and mainland Europe is reporting much better growth.
Clearly, we must hope for much better growing conditions in the Spring, with potentially a large area to be sown following the very wet Autumn.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture November 2012

Wheat of all grades remain keenly sought after for pre Christmas delivery, but imports are now available which is putting a ceiling to prices. This, along with a growing realisation that domestic supply is limited in terms of quantity and quality, could mean that a top to the domestic market may now be approaching despite a shortage of supply. Some feed manufacturers have already bought imported wheat supplies to improve average intake specific weight, and we feel that this activity will only increase. Wheat samples that achieve breadmaking criteria are still worth a good premium samples please!

Barley and Oat buying interest is weak for the remainder of 2012, but we hope this will improve in the New Year. Farms are struggling to complete, or even start, their autumn drilling campaign and seed supply remains a big issue due to high levels of disease seen in seed stocks, so we anticipate a busy spring season.

Higher grain prices this season fail to compensate for the lower yields seen this year, but we understand the situation is similar, if not worse, in the non Organic marketplace. Current values, ex farm November collection basis 29 tonne loads and subject location
Feed Wheat £288, milling wheat £315, feed barley £265, triticale £272, feed oats £235 and beans £300.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture September 2012

Harvest 2012 will not be remembered as a vintage year with most yields sharply reduced, and some indifferent quality evident, particularly so in wheat. It is, however, very interesting to note that many of our Organic suppliers report that their non Organic neighbours have fared even worse. The lack of available sunlight hours in the grain-fill period is the primary reason behind the low specific weights seen, with autumn sown crops being the worst hit. It is also worth noting that crops in the South seen to be lower quality than those from further North.

Prices have been stable in the last half of September, and we feel that values will remain fairly flat in the short/medium term., having risen sharply prior to harvest. We are aware that some buyers are now sourcing imported material, albeit at a significant premium, to boost the feed value of end products, so it is possible that some UK samples may be difficult to place.

If you do have any arable produce for sale, we would strongly recommend that you draw representative samples to submit to your buyer beforehand to reduce the risks of rejection and unexpected quality price adjustment. Please feel free to call us directly on 01284 764915 to discuss any marketing enquiry that you may have.

Current values ex farm for October, basis 29 tonne loads and subject location-
Feed Wheat £275, Milling wheat £poa, Feed barley £260,Tritcale £262, Milling grade oats £265, and Beans £295.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture August 2012

Organic cereal markets have remained firm as it becomes clear that yields will disappoint following the very difficult growing season. Combines have made a start and early samples reveal that quality has suffered, although it has to be said that many non-Organic crops have fared just as badly, and after a considerable agrochemical spend! To add insult to injury, these farms also tend to sell more pre harvest than Organic producers do, and now face the prospect of having sold a larger percentage of their crops than intended, and at prices below the prevailing market.

On the handful of Organic samples seen to date, specific weights of barley range from 55kg to 66kg, oats at 42kg to 52kg, with wheat at 68kg to 74kg. Yield information is patchy, barley at around 1.25 - 1.5 tonne/acre with wheat at up to 2t/ac. We hear of similar reports from non-Organic samples, but bear in mind all these results are from limited information from a delayed harvest.

Growers understandably want to concentrate on harvesting crops as and when weather permits, and will only sell once crops are in the barn. Accurate samples will be very important this season to avoid any unpleasant surprises on delivery. The big question is whether prices are already reflecting quantity/quality issues, or if prices will have to climb further. We suspect that prices will continue to rise whilst these uncertainties remain. Whatever the outcome, the livestock sector faces an expensive feeding season ahead.

As we go to press feed barley is trading at £253 for prompt collection, feed wheat at £265, and milling oats at £270 basis 29 tonne loads and subject location. Please speak to us on 01284 764915 for latest information.

Market update by Simon Tubbs Saxon agriculture June 2012

Organic values have firmed to follow the sharp increase in agricultural commodities seen recently after reports of the severe heat wave seen in the major crop producing areas of the US. This has led to a surge in futures markets, which has in turn boosted grain prices globally.

Reduced yields in Russia, Ukraine, and Eastern Europe are also reported, although it has to be said that crops in Western Europe look well despite the prolonged wet seen since April. Add to this a delayed UK harvest and we have some high prices now on offer, which will make the livestock sector look very difficult after pricing autumn feedstuff requirements.

We currently put Organic feed wheat at £240 ex farm for September collection, with barley and triticale at £226 subject location. The on-going wet weather will probably cause some quality issues, and these concerns will remain until harvest samples are seen. We fully expect markets to remain volatile in the medium term, so keep in close contact with your local market.

Update from Simon Tubbs, Saxon Agriculture (Previously Norton Organic), May 2012

Old crop markets are largely traded out, with some downward price movement seen recently to meet lower new crop values. Consumer buyers have been fairly quiet of late, and have been managing to buy 'top ups' at discounted rates from sellers keen to clean grain stores prior to harvest. We see June values at circa £245 for feed wheat, and £226 for barley in central England other prices on application! There are still some good opportunities, but we need to know what you have still available for sale.

We understand that the wet weather seen through May has at least helped crops grow away, but there are still some reports of strong weed competition in some areas. There is even talk of drought restrictions being lifted so I imagine that we would now appreciate some warmer weather to help crop grainfill development. Generally crop reports are all encouraging, but the flip side is that European and worldwide crops are also in good shape which is putting a ceiling to prices. The positive news is that agricultural commodities do remain relatively strong given the very weak financial climate in most other sectors, and we feel that those wishing to sell grain for the harvest period should seriously consider some sales before any harvest selling pressure becomes evident.

We would indicate £226 for feed wheat, £218 for barley and triticale, and £250 for beans and milling oats. We will also pay an appropriate premium for any grain sold pre harvest that achieves a superior grade on receipt of sample. Please speak to me for a firm quote relevant to your area.

The UK market is still fragile compared to that of mainland Europe, and, to date, wholesale buyers have been prepared to watch and wait. This could benefit sellers in the short term as eventually there will be better buying interest which could lead prices higher in the autumn. Please however keep a close on the market we are only a phone call away.

On that note - hopefully you should be aware that we have moved to a new office at Bury St Edmunds and have now become fully integrated with Saxon Agriculture. All Organic trading and logistics will be done from this office, payments and contracts will continue to be sent from the East Walton office as before. Please delete the old Boxford office contact details.

The new office is at:-
1 Greenwood Court, Skyliner Way, Bury St Edmunds IP32 7GY
Telephone 01284 764915 my mobile 07795 150464 email

Update from Simon Tubbs, Norton Organic, April 2012

Organic grain markets have been quietly firmer over the last month. UK wholesale buyers continue to trade on a hand to mouth basis, and seem content to leave forward buying alone at present.

Stocks of wheat in particular are becoming scarce. Cooler weather has stimulated some nearby feed demand, and recent rains have helped new crop yield prospects in the drier regions.

Old crop prices are still significantly higher than harvest values, so those with stocks still to sell should now consider making sales before prices dip in the run up to harvest.

If you would like a firm quote relevant to your sample and location please call us on 01787 210899.

Ex farm indications this is based on 29 tonne loads, subject to location

New cropMaySeptember
Feed wheat£240£220
Feed barley£222£205

All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966

Update from Simon Tubbs, Norton Organic, March 2012

Organic cereal markets have remained broadly unchanged over the last month, with the exception of feed wheat which is becoming firmer in the South as supplies in the areas of demand become tighter.

We remain of the opinion that the mills still have to buy most of their raw material requirement from May onwards, but they are not actively purchasing as we go to press. Sentiment is firm.

New crop markets have yet to be established, please see below for price indications.

Reports from our farm contacts suggest the spring crops have gone in well, we now need a good rain to water them in!

If you would like a firm quote relevant to your sample and location please call us on 01787 210899.

Ex farm indications this is based on 29 tonne loads, subject to location

New cropNorton
Feed wheat£240
April milling wheat£265
Harvest wheat£220
Oats (milling)£265
Feed barley£222

All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966

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The organic cereals market

Update from Simon Tubbs, Norton Organic, February 2012

Old crop feed wheat is trading at around £225 ex farm for spot collection, with feed barley valued at £218. Stocks of wheat are becoming tighter in the areas of greater demand in the South and grain is now having to travel greater distances from the North, so there are some regional price variations. Barley availability however is greater, so we expect to see the wheat/barley price widening.
Buyers are still very much buying on a hand to mouth basis, and we have yet to see much interest in buying forward of March whilst feed demand is uncertain. Milling grade oats are worth £265/270 for April/May, Triticale £215, Beans £285 and Peas £280.
New crop markets have yet to be established.

Spot collection means the immediate month, ie collection/delivery of grain within the next 28 days.

Please speak to Norton Organics on 01787 210899 for prices relevant to your location if you have stocks still to sell.

Feed wheat£225
Milling oats£265/270
Feed barley£218

All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966

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The organic cereals market

Update from Simon Tubbs, Norton Organic, January 2012

Markets have generally remained subdued into January as consumers will only buy on a hand to mouth basis. Mild weather to date has certainly not helped feed demand this season and the wider economic climate also makes most buyers very nervous about forward trade committment. Supplies of feed wheat in the South are now becoming harder to find, although there are ample stocks on farm further north. Barley and triticale stocks are adequate and if anything oversupplied, with suppliers looking to make sales into a thin market. We remain very keen buyers of milling wheat, oats and feed beans.

We would indicate ex farm values on the basis of 29 tonne loads:

Feed wheat£228
Milling wheat£POA (some excellent premiums available)
Milling oats£260
Feed barley£215

All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966

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Market update by Simon Tubbs Norton Organics, December 2011

Grain markets have settled a little lower as Christmas approaches and UK feed demand has remained muted after the mild autumn. We feel prices will hold at current levels into January so those looking to sell for the early New Year should sell sooner rather than later as we believe sellers will reappear post December and possibly push prices lower pre March. To some extent grain markets have been propped up recently by the lack of farm selling (early Single Farm Payments have helped cash flow?) but demand is weak going forward and the wider economic environment certainly does not help support prices.

Feed market direction later in the season is more difficult to predict since firmer European prices have meant that the UK has actually exported some Organic cereals/pulses. Should UK demand increase, supplies could get tighter in the back end of the marketing year, so longholders could see better prices in the longer term.
Demand for milling wheat and oats is still strong and we are keen buyers of Beans so please speak to us for latest values.

Please speak to Norton Organic on 01787 210899 for latest market information.
 Cereals market update November 2011

All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966

Market update by Simon Tubbs Norton Organics, November 2011

Since harvest, ex farm selling prices have eased back whilst animal feed demand has been muted due to a mild autumn to date. Organic feed wheat premiums have however been maintained at around £80 over non organic wheat despite the weaker wider economic environment which is hardly helpful to a premium market. It is interesting to note that strong mainland European markets have made it possible to export grain, which is unusual since the UK is import reliant!

Organic feed wheat is currently trading at £220 in the west, with barley valued at some £10 less for December collection. Oats (milling grade) are worth £268 for January whilst beans are trading at £265.

Grain quality and yields have generally been very good this year, and we have had several reports from growers that their Organic crops have out yielded nearby conventional crops.
We anticipate better demand post Christmas since we believe buyers have only a limited amount of forward cover into the New Year, and hopefully, for sellers at least, some winter weather should stimulate feed demand. We do however feel that prices are unlikely to lift much in the medium term, so would suggest that those looking to sell between now and March should consider making sales.

Please speak to Norton Organic on 01787 210899 for latest market information.

 Cereals market update November 2011
All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966

Market update by Simon Tubbs Norton Organics, October 2011

A reduction in the value of conventional feed grain prices seems to have translated to the organic sector where wheat and barley prices have fallen back. This trend is set to continue so wheat should be sold before the end of the year. Oats is the success story with most making milling grades and commanding a good price. Beans similarly are doing well. There does not seem to be a lot of peas on the market with imports expected, prices are likely to fall in the New Year.

 Cereals market update October 2011
All the above prices are ex farm and are liable to change. For information please contact Norton Organics on 01787 210966
In partnership with
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Organic Centre Wales, IBERS, Gogerddan Campus
Aberystwyth University, Ceredigion, SY23 3EB
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