Wet weather continues to hamper fieldwork in Ireland and in Europe, meaning winter cereal area is most likely back. However, wheat prices remain steady.

French wheat for December 2024 finished last week at €242/t and on Tuesday evening 7 November it was at €240/t.

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report is due out on 9 November and will give some guidance on production and usage estimates from around the world.

Maize and soybeans

Looking at imports to Ireland and maize ex-port is at about €250/t, while new-crop maize has held similar to the past few weeks at €230/t. Soya ex-port continued to rise again. This week it moved to €600/t, up from €570/t last week.

This makes soya expensive until crops from South America come on to the market in spring time next year.

Soya bean prices are strengthened by a shortage in the market ahead of an expected big crop from Brazil.

Brazil could produce 160m tonnes of soya beans next year (see tillage pages 40-41).

However, planting is about 14% behind this time last year, as both dry and wet weather delays work in the north and south of the country. Oilseed rape prices are somewhat supported by soya bean prices.

The August 2024 French price increased by €3/t over the last week to €449.75/t. However, by Tuesday this week it had fallen to €446/t. Oilseed rape prices were looking positive on Wednesday open, up €2.25-3/t for August and November 2024.

Malting barley

A fixed price offer of €270/t came out from Boortmalt in recent weeks. Farmers can fix up to 20% of their tonnage at this price.

However, details of the arrangement may change between different merchants who take in barley from farmers and then supply Boortmalt with that barley.

Distilling barley for example provides a €10/t bonus on top of this price. It is understood that the €10/t charge does not apply to the fixed price offers.

The Irish Farmers Journal understands that Cooney Furlong in the southeast is offering farmers €275/t for malting barley.

The spot price for Free-On-Board Creil malting barley fell back from €302/t last week to €295/t on Tuesday 7 November.

Malting barley quality and yields were poor in Europe this year, similar to Ireland.

However, bad weather in Europe will most likely result in a large area of spring cereals and spring barley being planted in 2024, which in good conditions could result in large quantities of malting barley on the market. It’s a very hard one to call.