International grain markets saw upward and downward price pressures over the past week but local physical prices here remain largely unchanged. Dry wheat remains around €345/t to €350/t for November with dry barley around €330/t to €335/t, depending on the day.

These dry prices would suggest green grain prices post harvest of around €290/t to €300/t for barley and €305/t to €310/t for wheat. However, the market could see many more turns in either direction before prices are finalised.

Growing concerns over the impact of dryness in parts of the world helped to edge prices upwards last week, despite the agreement to export grain out of some Ukrainian Black Sea ports. However, prices weakened once ships began to sail with cargoes of grain.

Now there are new questions arising over this trade route. Insurance costs for these ships and cargo are very high because of the risks involved, so will ship owners send ships back in for new cargo?

With up to 80 ships trapped in Ukrainian ports since the beginning of the war, it is understandable that their owners will carry a higher initial premium to get them back into active service but will they, or others, send ships back in? Has port infrastructure and rail transport the capacity to get grain to the ports?

These concerns are forcing markets to consider overall global supply once again.