Matif wheat for December 2023 fell by €5/t on Tuesday 21 March, bringing it below €260/t for the first time since 17 March 2022. The December French wheat price plays a big role in the price set for Irish grain at harvest.

The December 2022 price, relevant to last harvest, was at €257.50/t on 17 February last year and did not fall below this for the rest of the year following the invasion of Ukraine.

The December 2023 price closed 2022 at €289.75/t and the drop this week puts it €33.50/t behind that price. At present there look to be ample grain supplies with low demand which is resulting in the drop in prices. The extension of the grain corridor is most likely another factor playing into these prices.

At the weekend, the Black Sea Grain Corridor was extended. The previous extension was until 19 March. The new extension means that grain will continue to leave Ukraine for at least 60 days through the corridor.

Oilseed rape fall

Oilseed rape prices took a bigger fall than wheat. The November French price for oilseed rape finished at €475.75/t on Friday, down €22.50/t on the previous week. It then fell to €449.25/t at close of business on Tuesday, down €26.50/t from Friday 17 March.

Australia’s record oilseed rape crop is playing into this fall. And while the Rosario Grain exchange has cut Argentina’s expected soya bean production again to 25 million tonnes, it does not seem to be helping prices at present. The Argentinian soya bean crop was originally forecast to be approximately 48 million tonnes.

UK wheat exports soar

Last week, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) reported that from July to January the UK exported approximately 735,800t of wheat. It reported that this is over 2.5 times the volume shipped by the same time in 2021/2022.

It is the largest volume exported since 2019/2020. The AHDB reported that the pace has been picking up over recent months. A total o159,500t of wheat was exported in January. This was the largest monthly volume shipped since October 2019.

Native prices

Prices at home are following the global trend. Those with barley in the shed will not be happy to hear that spot barley has now dropped below €250/t, while November barley is at about €255/t (dried prices).

This week Tirlán offered suppliers harvest prices of €212/t for green barley and €220/t for green wheat.