There was a slight lift in wheat markets in the UK, France and the US at the end of last week and this week, while oilseed rape prices fell, but recovered.

Matif wheat for December finished last week up 50c/t on the week before and increased by €3/t up to Tuesday of this week to €212/t. This was a welcome move.

Maize prices also lifted similarly, but at a lower base. On Tuesday evening, Matif maize for November was at €184.75/t.

More buyers were reported to move in global markets last week as prices fell. The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board in the UK also reported that “potential new US sanctions on Russia and concerns over northern hemisphere weather” supported markets.

Just like in Ireland, farmers in northern Europe are worried about the weather. Rain is delaying work on the continent. This is affecting winter crops in the ground, but also causing some farmers to think about changing from spring barley to another crop. This may help to support prices.

Overall, the big crop of maize expected from South America is always in the background and weighing on markets.

Native prices

At home, prices for November barley remain at or under €205/t, while wheat is reported to be at or under €220/t.

Maize ex-port is available at €205/t, while soya ex-port remains at €520/t. The Sebastian malting barley price for 2024 was at €241/t this week. Boortmalt has not confirmed dates for harvest averaging to start.

Oilseed rape

Matif oilseed rape for November fell from €429.25/t to €415.25/t last week. However, that price came back up to €420.50/t on Tuesday evening of this week.

There is pressure on the soybean market at present and this is feeding into oilseed rape.

Brazil is harvesting its soybean crop at present and progress is good. Weather had affected the crop, but supplies are still likely to be big.

Production in Argentina was estimated back this week. However, US stocks are reported up and Chinese demand is reported to be down.

Costs and returns

On this week’s tillage pages, we detail the Teagasc costs and returns for different crops. Examine the crops you’re growing and see do you need to make changes. You can change the costs to what they are on your own farm. Machinery may be lower, for example.

There are two versions – one with green grain prices of €210/t and €200/t for wheat and barley and another with current estimates of €185/t and €175/t for wheat and barley.