Futures grain prices had a week of price drops on MATIF, with the biggest fall happening on Tuesday. Last week, prices rose considerably on Monday following the weekend bombings in Ukraine.

This week sees the aggression intensify, but the December futures fell by €11.75/t on Tuesday alone to close at €344.75/t, back over €25/t from the recent highs.

There is no single explanation for this. Currency is a factor, as are concerns around recession. There is also said to be a more positive tone in current Black Sea corridor talks.


Last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report made no major changes to its previous predictions, so there were no major changes to Chicago futures markets at the time.

However, what could be described as market fatigue appears to have set in this week, but prices seem to be picking up again on Wednesday.

World ending stocks of wheat were reduced slightly, but not as much as some commentators had anticipated.

Concerns around supply issues from the Black Sea region continue to leave maize markets looking tight.

The production figure used for Argentinian maize is put at 55Mt in the WASDE report, but drought is affecting planting progress there. This could cause this production level to be reduced in time.

Wheat down under

Looking at the southern hemisphere, the recent AHDB report indicated that there has been a further deterioration in wheat crop condition in Argentina.

Overall production forecast was reduced by 1Mt to 16.5Mt because of poorer crop condition ratings due to drought.

Elsewhere, Australia is forecast to have its second-largest wheat crop on record, according to ABARES, which is put at 32.2Mt. However, significant rain in some eastern regions is raising quality concerns for the crop, which is normally destined for the milling market.

Native markets

Just as the sentiment in the physical market was upwards last week, it is largely down again this week.

Nearby wheat is now more in the €350 to €355/t range, while barley is more in the €335 to €340/t bracket. At this point, these price levels will pertain out to the new year.

Oilseed rape futures for November ’23 continue to bounce. Sentiment is heavily influenced by events in the Black Sea and a big Canadian crop.

The price closed at €630.75/t on Tuesday and is up a bit again at the time of writing on Wednesday. As of now, the longer-term sentiment on rape prices is downwards, so these may be selling opportunities.