Harvest is under way, but there is very little talk of price and it is hard to know if this is a good or a bad thing.

Prices dropped slightly this week, but they returned to last week’s range.

On Tuesday evening 11 July, Matif French wheat for December was at €239.25/t.

This is €1/t above where the price had closed on the previous two Fridays.

The Black Sea grain initiative is up for renewal on 17 July and this will add volatility to the market until the outcome is clear.

Ukraine is looking at transporting grain via the Danube river, but this is likely to be more costly than moving it through the ports.

WASDE report due

The United States Department of Agriculture was due to release its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report on 12 July.

Drought has been a concern for maize and soya bean crops in the US, but reports are pointing to production being above the five-year average, despite the impact of weather on crops.

Meanwhile, Brazil continues to harvest a record maize crop, which is forecast to be over 130m tonnes.

With harvest now started in many parts of Europe, grain is moving and low-cost grain is available.

This will not be a help to the competitiveness of Irish grain.

At present, low prices relative to production, as well as crops in fields with low yield potential, is going to make it a very difficult year for tillage farmers here in Ireland.

Rapeseed jumps

On Tuesday, Paris rapeseed for November was at €466.25/t.

This was positive news for farmers, as it had increased from last Friday’s price of €448.25/t and was also higher than the closing price of €456.25/t the week before.

Native prices

Reports are that there is very little trade happening at home and some may be seeing whether the maize price drops as a big crop comes from Brazil.

The maize price dropping below the barley price often results in the replacement of barley with maize.

Indications would point to prices of €225/t for spot barley and €240/t for spot wheat. This time last year, spot wheat was at approximately €370/t.

November prices for 2023 native barley and wheat are at the same levels as spot prices at present.

New-crop maize is currently at about €233/t. These are dry prices, so this is not a help to the harvest price here.

Last week, Tirlán offered €190/t for green barley and €200/t for green wheat at harvest before any bonuses were added in.