Markets remain steady, but they weakened a bit over the past week.

Maize seems to be back in the driver’s seat again, as the bulk of the wheat is cut and accounted for in the northern hemisphere.

Markets had moved into a slightly weaker phase last week as news weighed on maize prices and then wheat.

But wheat is still primarily bullish on the back of tight global supply estimates.

Topsy-turvy signals

Market signals have been a bit all over the place in the past week. It seems that Hurricane Ida damaged some US grain export facilities in the Gulf, which accounts for about 60% of US grain exports.

That put pressure on internal US grain prices, while helping them elsewhere.

There was also considerable disruption of deliveries to the Gulf Coast, which included power outages and navigation obstructions caused by sunken barges and boats in the lower Mississippi.

Strong US export sales helped towards the end of last week, but then China cancelled barley shipments on the back of improved prospects for its domestic maize crop.

Last week, a SovEcon report forecast a further cut in Russian wheat production to 75.4Mt (down 800,000t). Meanwhile, wheat production prospects in Argentina were helped by widespread rain, with one cereal exchange forecasting output at 19Mt, up 2Mt on last season.

In Brazil, AgRural Commodities reported recently that it now expects the country’s maize crop to fall to 81.9Mt, considerably lower than other previous estimates.

And in Australia, wheat production is being forecast at 32.6Mt, down 2% on last year.

WASDE this week

While all of those bits of information can influence markets, the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from the US has a far greater impact on overall price direction and the September report is due out on Friday of this week.

The figures that could still make a difference include maize production in Brazil and in the US, where there could still be yield and area adjustments favourable to production.

For wheat, changes to Russian and Australian production could be influential.

Native prices

Physical prices here remain similar to last week. Dry wheat from here to November continues around €245/t to the trade, with barley either side of €235/t, depending on the day. Prices to end users might be €2-€3/t above these values.

Oilseed rape is slightly stronger this week at €530/t.