Grain price: Markets showing signs of resurgence

Grain price has been unsettled in the past few weeks and – more worryingly for grain farmers – prices were low last week.

LIFFE wheat (November) hit £154.75/t on June 19. However, on Friday of this week (June 29), that price hit £163/t – giving some comfort to sellers.

The drop in price coincided with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) reduced estimation of the Russian wheat crop by 3.5 million tonnes to 68.5 million tonnes. This is down from last year’s record 85 million tonnes.

Drought in Ukraine looks like it will reduce yields. Some reports estimate that wheat yields may be back 15-30%. Winter barley production is expected to decrease by more than 500,000t.

In the US, reports from the Texas wheat harvest state that cutting is more than 70% complete and 50% of the crop is rated to be of poor quality, while almost 20% is rated excellent. Rain put a halt to the harvest in Kansas last weekend, but combines began to move again towards the middle of the week.

LIFFE

Having finished at £159.75/t (€180.55/t) last week, the November price sat at around £158.80/t (€179.48/t) on Monday and Tuesday (June 25 and 26) of this week.

This price crept up to £159.90/t (€180.72/t) on Wednesday (June 27) and reached £160.30/t (€181.17/t) by Thursday (June 28). By Friday evening November wheat hit £163/t (€184.22/t).

MATIF

The MATIF wheat price for December finished on a more positive note. It stopped at €180.25/t last week and dropped to €177.75/t on Monday (June 25) and €177/t on Tuesday (June 26). Wednesday saw an increase to €178.25/t, but the price was back down to €177.25/t by Thursday. On Friday evening the MATIF hit €181.75/t.

CBOT

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) July wheat looked to be recovering. It hit 477.75c/bu (€15.38/t) on June 19, recovered to 495.25c/bu (€161.72/t) by June 22, but fell back again this week.

On Friday (June 23), the July price stood at 489.40c/bu (€153.85/t). This dropped to 476.75c/bu (€150.07/t) on Monday (June 25), 469.50c/bu (€147.87/t) on Tuesday (June 26) and increased by 10c/bu on Wednesday to 479.50c/bu (€151.01/t). By Friday it had recovered to 497c/bu (€156.03/t).