Grain markets looked a little bit more positive this week, mainly due to bad weather and movements by speculators in the market. Wheat, maize and oilseed rape prices increased at the end of last week.

There is reported to be more demand for grain in markets and fears over supply dues to bad weather.

However, in wheat markets, it also looked like speculators were buying positions in the markets, which was helping prices.

On Friday 8 March, French wheat for December closed at €210/t, up over €3/t on the week before, and it increased another €3.75/t by Tuesday evening to €213.75/t. London and US wheat did not see the same level of increase.

There were traders buying and selling positions in the market.

Just as in Ireland, there is wet weather in Europe as well, which is delaying spring planting, after poor winter sowing.

On 4 March, only 28% of spring barley was planted in France. The average for that time of the year is 71%. This is now sending some concern to the market around crop conditions and supply.

Last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) put the Brazilian maize crop production forecast at 124m tonnes.

Argentina’s maize crop was estimated up 1m tonnes to 56m tonnes.

However, there are now concerns that a La Nina weather event could hit South America, with a 77% chance of that dry weather event in the region in the month of October. The wheat crop in Argentina may be affected by this.

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape also increased. It moved up €6.50/t last week before jumping by €18/t this week to close at €446.25/t on Tuesday evening.

Oilseed rape is following the positive run of vegetable oils. Agritel reported that palm oil prices have risen sharply since early February and have been accelerating in March.

Malting barley

The spot price for Free-on-Board Creil malting barley also increased this week, from €260/t on Friday to €264/t on Wednesday morning. The 2024 price was lower at €240/t this week.

Native prices

At home, spot barley has remained steady for the past few weeks, with reports of prices of €200/t or lower. Spot wheat was also steady this week at €210/t or under.

Maize ex-port continues to hold firm at €205/t. Barley for November is reported around €200/t, with wheat €5/t ahead of this. All prices reported are dried unless otherwise stated.