Wheat markets stayed relatively steady this week, with no news in the market to move prices. European oilseed rape prices increased significantly.

Drier weather is giving people some confidence, as there has been progress in planting and crop management in regions such as France, but, as we know, there is still plenty of wet weather in Europe and the impact of that weather has affected plantings and crop condition.

The French oilseed rape price for November closed last Friday 5 April at €460/t, up €9.25/t on the week before. It increased further this week. On Tuesday, it closed at €461.75/t and on Wednesday afternoon was at €465.75/t.

There is dry weather in Canada, which may affect its oilseed production. The soybean market will also affect oilseed rape prices.

Earlier in the week, they dipped when it was reported that Brazil’s soybean harvest was 76% complete by 7 April.

The forecast for the Brazilian soybean crop was increased by AgResource Company for 2023/2024.

Production was forecast up by 1.5m tonnes to 145.4m tonnes. Its maize crop forecast was estimated down by 0.7m tonnes to 114.2m tonnes.

The United States Department of Agriculture reduced Brazil’s corn and wheat production forecast for 2023/2024.

Corn was forecast back two million tonnes to 122m tonnes and wheat production was forecast to decline from 10.6m tonnes last season to 8.2m tonnes. Corn exports were also forecast back 13%.

In the US, corn, wheat, barley and oats planting are all under way, with 58% of soils reported to have adequate moisture levels and 12% surplus moisture. Dryness has been a concern for some.

Malting barley

The weekly collection of malting barley prices to create an average price from the season for harvest began last week for Boortmalt suppliers.

The averaging kicked off more than a week earlier than usual, with the first price recorded on 4 April, compared with 13 April in 2023 and 14 April in 2022.

That first price, which is the dried Free-On-Board Creil Planet price, came in at €260/t. However, it is subject to a €10/t charge, so the price to the farmer for green brewing barley is €250/t and for green distilling barley is €260/t. Averaging will continue into September.

Native prices

Spot prices remained steady at €215/t or under for barley and €215/t to €220/t for wheat.

Looking ahead to November and barley is reported at about €215/t, but wheat is around €225/t to €230/t.

Maize is reported to be trading at similar levels to barley at present.