Grain markets did not look too positive this week. However, oilseed rape prices lifted.

French Matif wheat for December finished last week at €206.75/t, down €3/t on the Friday before. It lifted on Monday of this week, but on Tuesday it moved back to 207.50/t.

The May price dropped €8/t last week to €191.50/t and was at €190.25/t on Tuesday evening.

While markets don’t look positive at the minute, it is important to keep some things in mind.

Wet weather is affecting crops in Europe. EU wheat production is expected to fall in 2024, as winter crops are in poor condition.

Delays to spring planting will also cause concern for yields, so this is something to continue to watch. Free-On-Board Sebastian malting barley was at €240/t this week.

Behind all this, Brazilian maize planting is continuing at a good pace and a large maize supply will pressure markets. However, lowering maize prices may affect planting.

Australian production

Australia has just finished its 2023/2024 harvest, but is already looking ahead to the next one.

Dry weather was prevalent last season, but there has been rain in recent months.

Reuters reported this week that the area planted to winter crops should increase for 2024/2025.

Australia’s ministry for agriculture estimates an increase in barley production from 10.8m tonnes to 11.6m tonnes next season. Oilseed rape production is expected to increase by 400,000t to 6.1m tonnes. Planting doesn’t start until April.

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape prices recovered over the last week. The French oilseed rape price for November closed on Friday 1 March at €421.75/t, up €6.50/t on the week before.

That price moved up further this week to close at €426.25/t on Tuesday 5 March.

EU oilseed production is expected to be down this year. However, soybeans are a big player in the market.

Brazilian production is expected to be down. Harvest is ongoing in Brazil. A large crop is expected from Argentina. Harvest will start there in a few weeks’ time.

Imports of rapeseed were reported at 3.8m tonnes on 28 February for 2023/2024 so far by the European Commission. This was at 5.7m tonnes at the same time last year.

Native prices

Spot barley is now reported to be priced at around €200/t or under, while wheat crept down over the past week and is now reported at €210/t or under. Maize import prices remain steady at €205/t, soya remains at €520/t.