Grain price: Driest start to spring in western Europe since 1979

The European Commission released its crop monitoring bulletin on April 27 in which it reported that “Western Europe had one of the driest starts to spring since 1979 – after a wet winter – with almost no rain since mid March”.

Rain deficits were shown in large areas across mainland Europe and south-east England. Poland, Ukraine and Romania have had dry conditions since the end of winter.

The report stated that “winter crops in most of these regions are still in good condition”. However, rain is needed to meet positive yields.

The dry conditions of spring are impacting on recently sown crops as emergence is being affected. The report stated that yield forecasts were not yet taking into account the impact of the dry weather and cold spell in parts of Europe at the end of March and early April.

Levy on corn

Corn is an essential commodity to watch here in Ireland as we often see barley in particular compete with the crop.

This week the EU enforced a levy of €5.27/t on imported maize or corn. The levy was automatically triggered on April 27 as corn price dropped.

And while Ireland mightn’t buy a whole lot of corn from the US the effect of this levy may impact global corn prices.

It should also be noted that US corn is already subject to a duty of 25% due to the ongoing trade war between the US and the EU.

Also Read: Automatic levy on corn imports is now in action

However, it is unclear whether or not this levy will actually help grain prices in Europe. It may help to stabilise prices, but maize will have to buy demand from somewhere and so its price may have to drop further in order to do so.

Grain markets

Green grain prices for harvest, sent out to Glanbia growers at home, reflected this on Tuesday, April 28, when wheat fell to €157/t and barley dropped to €135/t.

Spot prices for feed barley showed signs of positivity on Friday, May 1. Feed barley (delivered Rouen) increased by €9/t to €157/t on Friday morning. The spot price for Free-On-Board (FOB) Creil malting barley also increased on the same day, this time to €170/t.

AgriLand understands that the Wednesday price of the FOB Creil (Planet) for 2020 closed at €168.50/t on Wednesday, April 29. The price each Wednesday is added to the average price to be paid at harvest to Boortmalt suppliers. Those Boortmalt suppliers are still in the dark on what size the reduction to intake will be at harvest.