Grain price looks positive; be cautious with quotes

The price of grain is a hot topic at the moment and with good reason; it’s moving in a positive direction.

Dry weather in eastern Europe, the US and South America will no doubt have some effect on prices, but this won’t be the only influence.

Keeping an eye on trends can help to gain an understanding of the market.

Compare like with like

Prices being quoted from merchants are a minefield. Farmers should be cautious to compare like with like.

There are many different factors that can affect this price. For example, where one merchant might quote a base price at 20% moisture content, someone else could be quoting a dried price. Delivery and variety may also come into play.

If you’re looking for quotes, or if you’re hearing what fellow grain farmers are being quoted, make sure you’re comparing like with like.


At close of day yesterday (May 31) the LIFFE wheat price for November 2018 stood at £159.05/t. This wheat price reached a peak of £160.05 on Tuesday (May 29).

Matif wheat

The Matif wheat price – for December 2018 – hit a high of €188.75/t at close of play on Tuesday (May 29). By Wednesday (May 30) that price had gone back down to €183.25/t and as of last night (May 31) it stood at €186.25/t.

The Matif price is used in Ireland as part of the Boortmalt/IFA pricing model.

CBOT soft wheat

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) soft wheat (July 2018 price) stood at $199.52/t (€170.40/t) on May 28. As of close of business yesterday (May 31) this price stood at $193.27t (€165.06/t).

Drought doesn’t look like it will have a big impact on the area of wheat sown in the US. The next few weeks will give an indication of how the US harvest might unfold.

Crops are fully headed out in Arkansas and California, as well as the majority of Illinois and Texas, according to reports from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The majority of maize crops are also reported to be in good condition in the US.