Grain price: Improvements this week, but nothing to write home about

Grain prices improved this week, but not so much to cause excitement. Meanwhile, consumption of wheat is forecast to reduce in the 2018/2019 season, which will in turn affect price.

This is according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which published its ‘World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates’ for March last week.

The report stated that global wheat supplies are reduced due to lower production forecasts. The EU and Brazil have increased world trade, while the US and Mexico’s world trade has reduced.

According to the report exports from the EU are estimated at 23 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes. This increase in competitiveness is expected to last until the end of the season.

Wheat consumption is expected to reduce in 2018/2019 by 5.1 million tonnes. This is largely due to reduced usage by India, which has revised its stocks for the season. Global stocks are up 3 million tonnes to 270.5 million tonnes, still down on last year’s record by 3%.


LIFFE wheat (May price) regained some strength this week. On Thursday (March 14) it had reached £161.95/t, having climbed from a low of £157.15/t on Monday (March 11). In fact, the last time the nearby LIFFE wheat price was this low was June 20 (2018) when it hit £156.75/t.

On Friday afternoon LIFFE wheat for May was back down again to £160.10/t.


The MATIF wheat price for May also improved significantly throughout the week. It closed on Monday at €181.25/t; moved to €184.25/t on Tuesday (March 12) and reached €187.75/t by Thursday (March 14).

It did reach €188.00/t on Friday (March 15) morning, but returned to Thursday’s price by afternoon.


Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat for May is still struggling. While it did improve through the week it finished at 452.75c/bu on Thursday (March 14) evening – up from a low of 428.50c/bu at the start of the week (March 11).

FOB Creil (two-row malting barley)

The 2019 Free On Board (FOB) Creil price showed signs of life towards the end of the week. It sat at €184.00/t from Friday, March 7 to Wednesday, March 12, before moving to €185.00/t on Thursday (March 14).