Grain prices increased again this week after a drop last week.

Uncertainty around access to grain from the Black Sea remains a key concern in markets, while a reduction in quality could see more milling wheat enter the feed market.

There is now a concern for wheat stocks globally as well, which may lead to an increase in prices, but there is plenty of maize out there.

Quality of crops is an issue in Europe and likely declines in wheat quality could see it make its way to the feed market.

On Friday, the Matif (French) wheat price for December was at €244.50/t, down from €247.75/t the week before. However, on Monday (7 August), that price had increased to €249.75/t and on Tuesday (8 August) it was at €253.50/t.

Prices in the UK also increased. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) reported the price increase in the UK was mainly due to “worries about Black Sea shipping after a Ukrainian strike against a Russian tanker near Crimea over the weekend”.

Attacks on ports are a major concern, particularly since the expiration of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The US maize crop is starting to look better, as 57% of the crop was reported to be in good or excellent condition at the beginning of the week, up 2% on last week in the crop progress report released on Monday.

Big Brazilian crop

Brazil continues to harvest a big crop. Reports this week were that 64% of Brazil’s second corn crop is now harvested. This is slightly behind for the time of year.

Much of this crop is exported around the world and the crop, which is now estimated by AgRural at 135.4 million metric tonnes, is expected to put a negative spin on maize prices.

Quality issues are being seen in Europe, just as here in Ireland, as some grain-producing regions get hit with similar weather to us. Premium crops may see price rises as a result.

Malting barley price has increased dramatically recently.

The Boortmalt average harvest price currently stands at €277.59/t, minus the €10/t drying charge, which brings it to €267.59/t - a significant premium over feed barley if you can meet the specifications.

Last week, the Free-On-Board (FOB) Creil Planet price contributing to the average hit €302/t.

Native prices

At home, reports are of little activity in the markets.

November prices for dried barley and wheat are back a bit at approximately €233/t and €255/t for native grain.

New-crop maize coming into the country has declined in price by about €5/t to €240/t.