Wheat prices are set to remain high in the wake of research from the Government’s Home Grown Cereals Authority showing that harvests have been as bad if not worse than predicted.

In its assessment of the harvest to date, the body found that wet weather had damaged the quality of the crop, which had higher water levels and lower protein than last year, meaning less of the crop was suitable for milling. However, the analysis was only carried out on the first half of this year’s crop and the HGCA warned the rest of the crop would be worse.

“It’s definitely worse than we’d hoped for, but it does look like there’s enough baking-quality wheat to meet the country’s needs,” said HGCA director of crop marketing Alastair Dickie. “However, the quality of the second half of the harvest is likely to deteriorate, as it felt the worst effects of this summer’s weather.”

Millers were paying more than expected, Dickie continued. “The milling premium this year is between £50 and £60/tonne – much higher than it has been. But it should stay steady now.”

Petrol and energy cost price hikes are reported to have increased the cost of milled wheat further.