The past week has been quite exceptional in futures grain markets, with record prices being set on both sides of the Atlantic.
Last week, I reported that MATIF December wheat had closed on Tuesday at €289/t – it went on to close at €299.75/t on Friday last.
Then it took off again on Monday when it added almost €10 to its closing price and closed on Tuesday at €311.50/t with all futures contract positions up €2.00 to €2.75/t on that day.
The price lift was for all forward market positions and December ’22 wheat is now at €271.75/t, up €8/t since Friday’s close. This was sub-€250/t at the start of this month.
It is interesting to see that AHDB analysts now put the six month outlook for wheat stronger than it is currently.
Tight global supplies continue to be the main driver but it is important to remember that it is milling quality wheat which is driving the market and that feed markets must still compete directly with maize.
Chicago wheat has had similar increases and December ’21 traded on Wednesday morning at $315.3/t (€279.8/t) and December ’22 traded at $314.9/t (€279.4/t).
An issue with rail transport in Canada also acted to support prices in recent days.
Many believe that Australian wheat is now set to produce a big crop. However, there are growing concerns about its quality which may not be as good as in previous years.
Issues are expected around grain protein levels, specific weights and sprouting.
Prices here have also increased following the surge over the past week, but physical prices for new crop have not increased as much as MATIF. Nearby wheat is now up in the €305 to €310/t bracket, with barley at €300 to €305/t.
New crop prices for wheat have pushed up to €255-€260/t, with barley up in the €245-€248/t bracket.
Earlier this week Glanbia offered its growers €257/t for dry wheat for November ’22 and €247/t for barley.
However, there is a growing nervousness in the market, given that maize production is expected to be higher next year.
Price expectations for new crop oilseed rape slipped back considerably last week. This was in response to indications that crop areas had increased in Britain and Germany in response to the high forward prices.
MATIF November ‘22 rape closed last Friday at €560.25/t, down over €20/t, but it had recovered to €568.25/t by Tuesday’s close.