Traders and markets across the world are beginning to focus on new crops. Meanwhile, in Ireland, many farmers, merchants and feed mills have plenty of last season’s crop in sheds. The toll this will play on next harvest is the great unknown.

One thing that has and will continue to have a big impact on wheat and barley prices is the competitive crop that is maize.

Data shows that as of April 29, EU maize imports increased by 38.6% from the 2017/2018 season to the 2018/2019 season – from 14.5 million tonnes to 20.1 million tonnes. The majority of this maize came from Ukraine.

This is similar to imports into this country. Maize imports to the Republic of Ireland increased by 43% from 2017 to 2018, bringing the total imports to 1,599,917t.

However, the bulk of maize imported into Ireland came from Canada. Ukraine accounted for 17% of maize imports to Ireland.
Also Read: 1.6 million tonnes of maize imported – up 43% on 2017

Wet weather has delayed planting of maize in the US, but wheat crops are in good condition. Reports from crops in Russia also suggest that there is good yield potential with rain expected to help in the coming days.


LIFFE wheat for May dropped throughout the week from £164.75/t on Monday, April 29, to £161.20/t on Tuesday. By Thursday, the price had reached £160.00/t. It remained at this price on Friday afternoon.

Looking further ahead, November wheat stood at £144.75/t on Friday afternoon.


MATIF wheat for May told a different story. It climbed towards the weekend. On Monday, April 29, the nearby price was at €184.00/t and while it dropped midweek to €183.25/t by Thursday it showed improvement, reaching €186.25/t before hitting €188.00/t on Friday afternoon.

The MATIF wheat price for December stood at €175.00/t on Friday afternoon.


Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was similar. It dropped midweek, but climbed back on Thursday. It closed at 426.75c/bu on Monday, April 29, dropped to 418.50c/bu on Tuesday and recovered as it climbed to 433.20c/bu on Thursday.

FOB Creil (two-row malting barley)

Free-On-Board (FOB) Creil (July 2019) rose by €1/t on Monday, April 29, to €191.00/t. It remained there until Thursday. On Friday afternoon there was no price change.