There was a slight improvement in grain prices this week. Matif wheat for December finished at €236/t on Tuesday evening.

It had dropped to €224.25/t on Wednesday 31 May and began to increase after this to €226.75/t last Thursday 1 June, so this was an improvement.

There are many factors at play. It may be affected by talks of the Black Sea grain deal not being renewed and what’s happening in Ukraine.

Rain in China and its impact on the milling wheat crop may also be affecting this price, while big crops of corn are expected in Brazil.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) is negative on the outlook for wheat and barley over the coming weeks and months.

The AHDB reported an expected volatility, as markets react to news of Black Sea tensions.

In the short term, weather in the US Midwest could hit global maize markets, but overall maize supplies look ample in the long term.

Corn planting was 5% ahead of the five-year average according to a report on Monday 5 June from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Some 85% of corn is emerged, compared with 77% which is the average for the time of year. Some 73% of that corn is reported to be in good and excellent condition.

Soya bean planting was reported to be 91% complete, well ahead of the average for the time of year which is 76%. Some 53% of crops are in good condition and 9% are in excellent condition.

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape has seen a lift in the markets. The French Matif oilseed rape price for November jumped €5/t on Tuesday evening to €433.50/t.

That’s getting back nearer to prices which were available a month ago. This may have been moving with oil prices.

Stratégie Grains increased the forecast for oilseed rape and sunflower seed production in the EU27 in its latest report for 2023/2024.

It forecast production at 20.4 million tonnes – that’s an increase of 400,000t on last month and is based on good potential in crops in Germany, Poland, France and Romania.

Malting barley

The average Boortmalt price for harvest 2023 currently stands at €250.75/t, after a €10/t charge has been deducted from the average price of €260.75/t.

That average is based on the price every Wednesday evening from mid-April to mid-September.

Last week, it finished at €255/t, up €1/t on the previous week and €259/t on 18 May.

For more on Grain Trends, listen to this week’s Tillage Podcast, out on Thursday afternoon.