There wasn’t much positivity in grain markets this week. At close of business on Tuesday the December price for French wheat was at €267.50/t, down almost €5/t on the same day the week before.

Meanwhile, spot barley (native) prices are around €280/t to €285/t and wheat is about €10/t over this, but there’s little appetite for buying in the market.

Demand is low. High feed costs, as well as other high inputs, have led to farmers curtailing their spends.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s happening close to home. The crisis in the pig sector has not gone away.

The result of sows leaving the sector is now being seen in animal numbers and a lower feed demand from the sector.


Imported barley and wheat is about €5/t over native.

Maize is coming in at around €305/t. All of these prices are dried prices.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK reported that the nearby Paris milling wheat price (Matif) is nearly at an 11-month low.

Competitive Black Sea supplies were reported to be contributing to that. However, the report also stated that demand for European wheat from north Africa might help to support the market.

On Tuesday evening of this week, that nearby French wheat price was as €284.75/t, down €24.50/t on the closing price of 2022.

The same report was negative for rapeseed and soya bean prices for the next few months, but remained neutral on wheat, barley and maize prices for the coming months.

Argentinian focus

In the past few weeks, Argentina has been a big focal point due to drought and its impact on crop yields.

Forecast rain, which could help crop yields, affected markets this week, with maize and soya bean prices falling slightly.

Rain was also forecast for parts of the US, where winter wheat crops had been struggling in dry conditions.

The AHDB reported spot prices of £260/t for feed barley and £269/t for feed wheat into Belfast on Friday 20 January.

Brazilian soya meal into Belfast was available at approximately £560/t. That’s down £15/t on the previous week.


Oilseed rape prices have been on a downward trend as well, but took a significant drop this week.

The August price for French rape fell €31.50/t in a week. It was at €570.25/t on Friday 20 January and €538.75/t on Friday 27 January. By Tuesday 24 January, it had fallen another €5/t to €533.75/t.