Grain prices remained relatively steady in the past week, but oilseed rape prices dropped dramatically this week.

Matif wheat for December closed last week at €222.75/t, down just 75c/t on the week previous. On Wednesday afternoon 17 April, that price was at €223.25/t.

Last week, wheat prices dipped in the UK and the US, but held strong in Europe. However, there is reported to be little export demand for US and EU wheat, as Black Sea grain remains competitive.

Maize will remain the crop to watch across the globe. Right now, there is a lot of focus on crop estimates in South America and what figures to use.

As with all estimates, they will differ from different sources and that is why in grain markets, we look at many different sources.

Conab, which is part of the Brazilian Ministry for Agriculture, estimated last week that the maize crop which is currently being planted will be down 8.5% in area and 8.1% in yield.

The crop agency has estimated the second corn crop at 85.6m tonnes, over 16% lower than last season, according to reports. That crop is being planted after soybeans. The soybean harvest is nearly complete in the country.

In the US, maize and soybean planting is just ahead of usual progress for the time of year, with 6% of the maize or corn crop planted and 3% of the soybean crop planted. Fifty-five percent of the winter wheat crop is in good or excellent condition.

Oilseed rape

The Matif oilseed rape price for November had risen dramatically in recent weeks.

It was at €450.75/t on 30 March, reached €460/t on 5 April and on Friday 12 April it closed at €469/t. However, this week, oilseed rape prices dropped significantly.

On Monday this week, it hit €464.25/t, moved down to €459.25/t on Tuesday and on Wednesday afternoon was at €454.50/t.

A drop in crude oil prices was likely to affect oilseed rape prices this week, while there was also reported to be ample oilseed rape supplies.

Native prices

At home, spot wheat and barley prices have remained steady for the past three weeks, with wheat at €220/t or under and barley between €210/t and €215/t. November barley prices are similar, while wheat is higher at €225 to €230/t. Imported maize prices increased this week. The November price is reported at about €215/t, up €5/t on last week’s price.

Last week’s FOB Creil Planet price for Boortmalt suppliers was down €3/t to €257/t, meaning it’s €247/t to the grower after the €10/t logistics charge is taken away.