Grain markets were not looking positive this week, although some Irish farmers did receive a top-up to their harvest payment.

Looking at world markets, French and UK wheat prices both fell last week, while in the US wheat moved up.

Wheat, corn and oilseed rape prices were all down last week and into early this week.

Matif wheat for May dropped €3.50/t last week, while December 2024 wheat closed on Friday 26 January at €227.25/t, just €1/t behind the previous week, but dropped €1/t again this week.

Reports suggest that there is still plenty of pressure in markets. There appears to be plenty of supply and, as a result, prices are dropping to be competitive.

The European Commission increased its wheat ending stocks this week by 0.7m tonnes to 19.1 million tonnes.

In the UK, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has reported tighter wheat supplies year-on-year.

In Australia, wheat production could be up to 30m tonnes, an increase of 20% to 25% on the recent estimates, as rain has eased some drought pressures.

French oilseed rape for November 2024 dropped €4.50/t last week. It was down by €7.25/t by Tuesday 30 January.

The wider oilseeds markets were pressured by progress in the Brazilian soya bean harvest and rain helping supply estimates. However, in the longer term, EU rapeseed plantings are down, which may help to support prices.

Malting barley

Malting barley price took a hit last week as well, although this is a spot price.

The FOB Creil Planet price fell by €14/t last week to €280/t. It was at €279/t on Tuesday. Malting barley looks to be following other markets, despite the lower volumes produced in Europe over the past season.

Harvest top-up

Last week, Dairygold announced a top-up to grain payments. The co-op’s board agreed to pay grain suppliers a further €2/t excluding VAT on grain purchased in 2023.

Malting barley and beans will not receive this top-up.

The co-op said the payments were “in recognition of the challenging year suppliers had in 2023”.

Reduced prices, high input costs and difficult weather conditions were listed among those challenges.

Native prices

Tirlán offered growers €197/t for green wheat and €187/t for green barley for September 2024 last week.

Spot prices at home have been dropping in recent weeks, while November prices have held steady around the €220/t mark for dry barley.

Maize ex-port continued to move down as well this week, keeping close to barley prices.