Wheat prices have increased by 4.5% in the last three months as demand for the grain's use in animal feed has strengthened and stockpiles have decreased in the wake of rising corn prices, according to the Chicago Board of Trade.
On April 12, corn futures traded above CBOT wheat prices for the first time in 15 years — an event that analysts said could encourage even more wheat use in feed rations. Wheat prices have risen 13% and corn 16% since March 31, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that corn stockpiles were at a four-year low. “The whole grain market is related through animal feed because producers tend to switch from corn to wheat,” said Jonathan Bouchet of Paris-based OTCex Group. “Right now wheat is supported by the corn story.” According to the USDA, feed will account for 18% of global wheat use in the marketing year through May 31, compared with 59% of corn consumption.