Global grain futures markets saw prices move in both directions once again over the past week.

Markets weakened towards the end of last week, but picked up again early this week.

Markets strengthened in the early part of last week with the news that wheat crops in the US were rated lower once again in crop conditions scores.

This effectively reduces US wheat production for this harvest.

The overall market situation was also affected by a slow start to maize planting in North America due to wet and cold.

These issues have affected spring wheat in the northern states and other crops up into Canada.

Having traded below €360/t for a period last week, December MATIF wheat closed last week at €360/t and picked up again to close at €367.25/t last Tuesday.

Next harvest

Last week’s International Grains Council report decreased global maize production for 2022/23. Its production estimate is back 10Mt on last year (or 13Mt lower than last month’s estimate), while its consumption estimate is up 21Mt.

The reduced maize estimate reflects the likelihood of smaller crops in Ukraine and the US.

Vegetable oil markets were boosted by the decision in Indonesia last week to ban exports of palm oil and palm oil raw materials. Indonesia accounted for 55% of world exports of this oil over the past five years.

Native prices

Nearby crop prices have weakened somewhat, despite somewhat higher futures prices.

This is especially the case for barley, as imports appear to have become available again.

Nearby wheat remains back in the €420 to €425/t range, but barley has fallen back into the €415 to €420/t range for the moment.

New-crop dry barley remains in the €360 to €365/t range, with dry wheat for December now closer to €370 to €375/t.

Earlier this week, Glanbia offered €310 and €320/t for green barley and wheat respectively for harvest.

The weakening in prices last week saw the second malting barley indicative price drop slightly to €392/t last Wednesday, leaving a rolling average of €396/t so far for harvest.

Oilseed rape prices have also increased further this week, largely in response to the ban on Indonesian palm oil exports. This follows the price escalation driven by the war in Ukrainian.

November oilseed rape contracts closed on Friday 22 April at €851.50/t and at €856.50/t on Tuesday of this week. This could well see harvest ex-farm dry rape prices exceed €800/t, with green in excess of €760/t.