Grain price: Bearish; keep an eye on weather

Tillage farmers took a blow this week with the announcement of a planned reduction to Boortmalt’s harvest intake for 2020. On global markets, prices remained relatively stable, but did decline on Friday.

Outlook for wheat however isn’t good with fears of lower demand.

On the continent, French crops are looking for water. Rainfall is below average and crop condition is declining as a result. So while large areas of barley may be sown in Europe, the final count can only be done at harvest.

Malting barley reduction

Boortmalt had intended to take in 185,000t of barley this season and announced on Tuesday, April 21, that malting barley contracts were to be reduced. The global company stated that due to a decrease in demand for malt it was working with stakeholders to try to quantify the reduction in volume that will be required.

On a more positive note the price used in the averaging model to calculate the price for Irish growers increased this week. On Wednesday evening, April 22, the Free-On Board (FOB) Creil, Planet malting barley price closed at €170/t. This was up from €168/t last week and the week before.

Grain markets

This week saw prices for barley decline for Harvest 2020. Glanbia offered €137/t on Tuesday, April 21, while a second price was offered on Friday, April 24, of €136/t. It should be noted that these prices do not include any membership bonuses. Wheat was a better price with offers of €161/t on Tuesday and €160/t on Friday.

The opportunity to sell grain was no doubt being taken up by some as corn prices and barley outlook are bearish. The uplift in wheat with the demand for flour may also be short so uncertainty underpins markets.

On Friday afternoon, April 24, a spot price for feed barley on the continent (delivered Rouen) was €152/t. The spot price for 2019 malting barley (FOB Creil) was €160/t.