International grain prices have continued upwards, with prices closing higher at the end of last week and even higher again on Tuesday of this week.

MATIF December wheat closed at €280/t (a contract high) last Friday and went on to close at €284.75/t last Tuesday. December 2022 contracts also increased from €242/t last Friday to €247.75/t this Tuesday.

The story on Chicago December wheat was broadly similar. This had been increasing since 14 October but it eased back on Tuesday. Maize prices have also trended upwards since 14 October.

Market realities

One of the reasons being given for the stronger prices is the possible grower response to the massive hike in input prices. This may be influencing winter planting decisions here but it is far more significant if US maize growers drift from maize towards more soya beans due to their zero nitrogen requirement.

Meanwhile, planting in Brazil is in full swing following rain in recent weeks which will help germination.

And early soya bean planting should help timely planting of its safrinha maize crop, which is about 75% of its maize production and critical for exports.

EU maize harvest is also progressing well and Stratégie Grains increased its EU maize forecast last week to 67.5Mt.

Wheat is still the driver

While maize prices are up, there is still a slightly bearish sentiment in maize markets due to an expectation of higher 2021 production figures. However, wheat remains strong for the moment as global outlook continues to be tight.

Russia is now an important player in wheat, being the world’s biggest exporter, and production constraints for the coming year have already set a bullish tone in world markets. Australian wheat production remains unconfirmed but it is forecast at 23Mt. There is a feeling in the market that if production there comes up shy of that number it could cause yet another boost to global wheat markets.

Native prices

Markets here have strengthened on the back of international movements. Wheat price is now at €280+/t, with barley between €270 and €275/t.

The market is once again concerned about barley, as new crop maize is now close to €275/t ex port and this is €245/t for November 2022.

November 2022 prices are up also with wheat now around €235/t and barley at €220 to €225/t. Oilseed rape November futures did not break the €700/t mark last week but eased back to close the week at €674.50/t. This has since risen to €692.75/t on Tuesday’s close.