Grain prices have been more positive over the last week. They increased substantially last week across European, UK and US markets.

Prices did take a dip this week. However, overall, they remain higher than they have been in recent times.

French (Matif) wheat for December, for example, closed last week at €240.50/t, up from €223/t the previous week, an increase of €17.50/t.

On Wednesday afternoon, that price was back to €233.75/t. That’s still up over €10/t on the price on 19 April, so, overall, it has been in the right direction.

Weather seems to be one of the main factors affecting markets this week.

There has been dry weather reported in southern Russia and, this week, Agritel reported that rain in the dry region led to some of the decline in prices this week, but noted that this rain “will not be enough to compensate for the water deficit in place since early spring”.

Weather in Europe, like Ireland, continues to make farmers and traders wonder about yield potential.

There is dry weather in Australia, leading to wheat estimates below the average.

In the US, 49% of winter wheat is in good or excellent condition in the 29 April report, down 1% on the previous week.

Twenty-seven percent of maize has been planted, 5% ahead of the five-year average for the time of year.

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape prices fell this week, as vegetable oil prices dropped and competition increased in the market.

French oilseed rape for November finished last week at €467/t, up €11.50/t on the week before. It increased to €471.75/t on Monday 29 April, but on Tuesday evening hit €465.75/t.

The rise in price last week and earlier this week may be linked to uncertainty over European yields and sowing conditions in Australia.

Native prices

At the weekend, Dairygold offered suppliers harvest prices of €185/t for green barley and €203/t for green wheat.

Growers supplying November dried barley can add €30/t to those prices.

A price of €425/t was offered for oilseed rape. Contract beans will receive a minimum price of €250/t at the co-op.

The Boortmalt average price was €265/t last week, up €6/t on the week before.

Reports of spot prices placed barley and wheat on a par last week at €223/t.

Wheat has remained steady, but barley is up from €215/t the week previous.

Maize ex-port is at €215/t, while the November maize price is at approximately €220/t. Keep an eye on the price difference between maize and barley.