A week ago, prices were falling on the weight of favourable production weather forecasts.

This week sees weather dominating markets again, but this time it is driving prices upwards.

While maize has been the primary driver of grain prices up to now, wheat has moved centre stage, with concerns for new-crop production in many key exporting nations.

The longer-term supply versus demand picture is now less bearish and looks to be more supportive of prices. Yield reports will now be the main price driver.

The weather factors are a combination of dryness in some areas and wetness in others.

Coming at this point, they seem to have neutralised the seasonal price pressure that occurs as harvest progresses in the northern hemisphere.

Wet conditions and flooding across parts of continental Europe are delaying harvest and causing concerns over the loss of quality wheat for milling.

While milling wheat futures are rising, failed milling wheat is likely to end up in the feed market and pressure feed prices in time.

Russia and US

Estimates for wheat production in Russia seem to be decreasing again, as crop yields from southern Russia are lower than expected.

The most recent AHDB market report indicates that about 13% of the crop there had been harvested by 15 July, with an average yield of 3.4t/ha.

The dry autumn in 2020 is given as the main reason for the lower winter wheat yields and now there are concerns for the spring wheat crop there too, as crop condition reports are down on last year.

In North America, lack of rainfall across the northern plains of the US and much of Canada continues to be a concern for milling wheat and canola production.

This issue has ebbed and flowed many times in recent weeks, but now it seems to be intensifying.

Yield reduction now seems inevitable in many key northern US wheat states, which are suffering from drought.

Rain can still be of benefit, but yield potential is likely to be decreased.

Native prices

Native prices are again stronger on the back of international prices. Nearby native wheat is back up at €250/t or stronger, but barley is now lower at around €215/t as new-crop becomes available.

November prices are also up again with the change in market sentiment. Wheat for this position is now around €220/t and barley closer to €210/t.

Dry oilseed rape is currently around €520/t.