Grain prices have lifted over the past week to 10 days or so, reported to be mainly due to unrest in Ukraine, the expiration of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and attacks on port infrastructure in Ukraine.

Matif (French) wheat for December was at €252.75/t on Friday 21 July, up from €238.50/t the previous week. However, the price had closed higher last week at €259.50/t on Thursday 20 July.

On Monday 24 July, the price moved up again to €267.50/t and went to €266/t on Tuesday.

That gives some indication of the volatility that is out there at present.

Markets are reported to be reacting to strikes on ports and air strikes on grain infrastructure on the Danube river, which is an alternative mode of transport for Ukrainian grain, so this puts doubts on supply. UK and US prices moved in similar directions to the Matif prices.

In a change from the past, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in the UK has moved to be bullish, or have a positive outlook, for wheat and barley prices for the next two to six months. The AHDB’s outlook is negative for maize for the same time period.

The MARS bulletin (crop monitoring in Europe) for July came out this week from the European Commission. The EU yield forecast was reported to be at or slightly above the five-year average.

Spring barley production is estimated down in the report, mainly due to substantial revisions in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the Baltic Sea countries.

“Drier-than-usual conditions” were reported as the main reason for the yield decline.

A rain surplus was reported to have delayed harvest and potentially reduced grain quality in western parts of Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary.

Matif oilseed rape for August hit €503.25/t last Wednesday. On Wednesday afternoon this week, the price was at €457/t.

Malting barley

Malting barley price has moved with other markets. The Free-On-Board (FOB) Creil Planet price contributing to the Boortmalt average price for harvest hit €298/t last week, bringing the average to €274.67/t. A €10/t charge is to come off of that price. This is a green price.

Native prices

Dried prices have moved up at home as well, reflecting what’s happening on world markets. For example, price indications put spot barley at €235/t, up €15/t on last week.

Spot wheat is reported to be up over €20/t from last week’s price of €240/t. November prices are about €5/t ahead of these prices for both barley and wheat.