Grain price: Markets plummet towards weekend

This week saw grain markets fall dramatically. Increased plantings are not helping the situation.

As planting continues across Europe a “larger” 2019 grain crop has been forecast. This will come as no surprise as last year’s crop was hit by severe drought and resulted in a total grain crop of 280.2 million tonnes.

COCERAL (the European Association representing the trade in cereals, rice, feedstuffs, oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agrosupply) made the forecast.

The 2019 European grain crop is forecast at 298.5 million tonnes – that’s an increase of 6.5% on 2018. Wheat and barley production are both expected to rise on the basis of extra plantings and a return to more normal yields and weather.

Corn production looks set to be relatively unchanged at 61 million tonnes, compared to 60.3 million tonnes in 2018.

According to COCERAL, oilseed rape tonnage will decrease in 2019 to 18.5 million tonnes – down from 19.7 million tonnes in 2018.

This reduction is mainly due to a reduction in plantings as a result of poor prices and low soil moisture levels during winter planting.


Nearby LIFFE wheat price opened the week at £159.95/t. It made some progress to £161.70/t on Wednesday (March 6), but returned to £159.50/t on Thursday (March 7). By March 8 it had dropped to £157.65/t.


The MATIF wheat price for May took a significant drop towards the end of the week. It hit €184.50/t on Thursday (March 6). That was a drop of €7.25/t on the day before when the price stood at €191.25/t.


Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat continued its downward spiral this week. The May price hit 438.25c/bu on Thursday (March 7); down from 450.00c/bu the previous day.

FOB Creil (two-row malting barley)

The FOB (Free On Board) Creil price for 2019 showed signs of improvement this week.

Having hit €180.00/t last Friday (March 1) it climbed back to €182.00/t on Monday (March 4) and remained at that price until Thursday (March 7) when it hit €184.00/t – the highest price it has reached since February 13 (€187.00/t).