Grain markets saw a spurt in growth this week after a slight decline last week.

Matif wheat started the week in a flurry, with the December price climbing €10/t on Monday to €262/t, while nearby Chicago wheat went up nearly 38c/bu on Monday, but closed the day up by 2c/bu.

French maize and oilseeds followed similarly, with November maize up €8/t and rapeseed up €5.25/t.

On Tuesday, those prices held, with December wheat at €262.25/t. Maize dropped slightly and rapeseed went down by €4.25/t, still up overall at €487.75/t.

Talking to ADM in Illinois on Monday, the Irish Farmers Journal heard that a decrease in Russian wheat production estimates were likely playing a big part in the upturn in prices and weather in general.

A lack of rain in Russia and frosts in early May are moving production estimates down.

Last week, estimates for Russian wheat production went from 89.6m tonnes to 85.7m tonnes.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in the UK said forecast rain in some key wheat-producing areas is something to watch out for. US wheat in good to excellent condition dropped 1% this week.

Out in the fields, the Irish Farmers Journal saw corn and soybean planting was continuing in Illinois (67% complete) and Missouri (76% complete) and some crops were well off the ground - some corn was as high as 6in to 8in.

On Monday, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported corn planting at 70% complete and soybeans at 52% complete.

A total of 40% of corn was emerged and soybeans were 26% emerged. Traders in the US say this is fairly on time.

Maize plantings in France are behind at 72% compared with the five-year average for the time of year of 91%. Some 64% of soft wheat (milling for biscuits) is rated good to excellent. This is the same as last week, but down on the five-year average of 93%.

Speaking to market analysts in the US this week, it certainly seems like a time to consider selling. Look at your costs.

Maybe the higher prices will last, but some expect it to be short term, as the market is currently dependent on weather which is subject to change before the main crops are harvested. The markets will need more news to keep prices higher.

Native prices

Recent spot prices of up to €235/t for barley and €250/t for wheat were reported. On Monday, Dairygold offered growers €221/t for green wheat at harvest, €200/t for green barley and €445/t for oilseed rape. Maize for November was trading similarly or slightly below barley at €230/t.