The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) is reporting that global grain prices strengthened sharply last week.

This was a direct response to the ending of the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

And while the week ended with some profit-taking on the part of traders, the new week has kicked-in with markets opening higher again.

Ukraine has been increasing shipments through the Danube in recent months. So, the widening of air strikes by Russia on these facilities poses renewed questions about access to Ukrainian grain.

Global grain prices

Meanwhile, the International Grains Council (IGC) increased its forecast of the global grain crop last week by five million tonnes, mainly due to a larger US maize area.

Despite this, the IGC still expects global grain ending stocks to contract year-on-year due to deficits in the wheat and barley markets.

The IGC forecasts global wheat carryover stocks to fall by 20Mt over 2023/2024, while barley stocks drop to the lowest level in nearly three decades.

Maize crops both in the US and Europe are in still their critical stage of development, known as ‘silking’.

So, markets remain nervous about crop potential. Higher temperatures are forecast for much of the US maize growing area this week, which could hamper yield development.

There is also concern about the impact the current hot, dry weather in southern Europe may be having on summer crops, especially maize.


Last week also saw UK prices rising, a direct consequence of the Black Sea Grain Initiative ending. The November 20223 UK feed wheat futures contract settled at £212.15/t on Wednesday past, its highest level since April 19.

The contract then dropped back slightly to end the week at £207.00/t.

Oilseed markets are currently focused on developments in the Black Sea region and global weather trends.

Last week saw Chicago soya bean future prices climbing through the start of last week, buoyed by dry US weather concerns and wider market volatility surrounding the Black Sea Initiative.

So, the weather over the coming weeks remains crucial and continues to support soya bean and soya bean oil markets.

Demand also remains a watch point on oilseed markets. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency has finalised the blending volumes of biofuels required by US oil refiners over the next three years.

But the total volume is less than the initial proposals.

The impact of Russia withdrawing from the Black Sea Grain Initiative, damage to Ukrainian ports, and the intensification of the war in Ukraine remains important in oilseed markets too.

Malaysian palm oil futures (October delivery) closed on Thursday at the highest point since March.