Grain prices were moving up and down this week and last week. Markets are volatile due to weather concerns and politics.

Matif French wheat for December was at €244.25/t on Tuesday evening, 27 June. It had closed last week at €254.25/t on Friday. It dropped €10/t on Tuesday.

Access to grain from the Black Sea continues to cause volatility in the market, while reports of reduced yield forecasts may also be helping grain prices find a new base.

Th EU’s MARS Bulletin, taking in data up to 12 June, put average cereal yields back 1% in its report last week. Average yields of spring barley were brought back 4% to 3.73t/ha (1.5t/ac).

Drought conditions in many parts are a big factor to this change. Drought continues to be reported in southern Portugal and Spain, while a rain deficit was reported in parts of Northern Europe and Ireland. A rain surplus was reported in some southern parts of Europe.

In the US state of Illinois, which is one of the leading maize and soya bean producers, a drought is hitting crop condition.

Monday’s crop condition report from the United States Department of Agriculture placed just 28% of the states maize crop on good or excellent condition. The US is a big producer of corn, so this is something to keep an eye on. Better weather is expected there over the weekend.

Malting barley

Malting barley prices continue to look good. Reports of dry weather in Denmark and yield losses of 15-20% is one of the things playing into the strength in prices.

Last week, the price contributing to the averaging system to calculate the Boortmalt harvest price here in Ireland went to €300/t and brought the current average to €269.64/t. Once the €10/t charge being enforced by the company is taken off, that price is at €259.64/t.

Oilseed rape

French oilseed rape for August was at €434.25/t and for November was at €441/t on Tuesday evening. These prices were up from Friday when the August price was at €431/t and the November price was at €438.75/t.

Other native prices

Tirlán last week offered suppliers a price of €202/t for green feed barley for harvest and a price of €214/t for green feed wheat. Growers of Cassia winter barley under contract were also offered an opportunity to forward sell up to 60% of their contracts.

Spot prices for native wheat are at about €245/t, while barley is at about €230/t. Imported prices for barley are at about €238/t and wheat is at about €255/t.

Imported maize is available at about €255/t. The differential between barley and wheat is significant and is present across current and forward prices.

Prices for native barley in November are at about €235/t, with wheat at approximately €255/t.