The past week has seen futures price sentiment remain relatively steady and generally within the €336 to €342/t range.

There were no big drops or rises, as prices peaked at last Friday’s close of €342/t, but closed on Tuesday at €336.50/t.

The major market influences continue to be the uncertainty around the Ukrainian export corridor, the US dollar and continuing fears over the impact of recession on global demand.

Supply issues

Talks continue between the UN and Russia to extend the Black Sea corridor deal. The UN wants the deal, which expires in late November, to run for a full year.

While there is no agreement yet, some believe that it will be renewed, but with more limitations as to export destinations with a far greater emphasis on poorer country destinations.

Meanwhile, ships continue to depart from Ukraine carrying different products to varying destinations.

Demand remains an underlying issue for markets, especially for the US, where the strong dollar seems to be weakening export demand for wheat and maize.

Saudi Arabia recently purchased 566,000t of milling wheat for next year from a range of country origins.

Rain issues

The recent AHDB report continues to point to dryness concerns in Argentina and its impact on maize planting.

Some rain has fallen but ground conditions remain dry and this is affecting planting progress, which was considerably behind normal at the end of last week due to germination and establishment fears.

The dryness there is also increasing concerns for its wheat crop. With harvest due to begin next month, it is possible that recent rain will add little or nothing to crop potential.

Recent USDA estimates reduced Argentina’s wheat crop by 1.5Mt, to 17.5Mt, for 2022/23.

Rain in Australia continues to cause concerns, but for the opposite reason – too much. The AHDB report suggested weekly rainfall totals of more than 150mm in parts of Queensland and New South Wales, with totals exceeding 350mm in some areas of Queensland.

While amounts were much lower, rain in the southwest of Western Australia is increasing concerns for wheat quality.

Native prices

While futures are relatively steady, there is a weaker tone to physical markets. Nearby wheat is holding better and generally up around €347 to €350/t to the trade, but barley seems under more pressure at around €332 to €335/t.

Nominal prices for November 2023 currently indicate €310 to €315/t for wheat and €300 to €305/t for barley.