Grain price: No major moves this week

Grain prices did nothing to excite anyone this week. The MARS report published at the beginning of the week forecast a decline of 2% in winter cereal yields, but an increase in spring barley and grain maize yields.

According to a report from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), the French soft wheat crop condition rating is at its lowest since 2011, at 56% ‘good to excellent’ in the week ending June 8.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) corn prices were stable this week, while the wheat price declined. As of June 15, 15% of the total winter wheat area had been harvested in the US. Texas and Arkansas were the states furthest ahead with the harvest at the time of publication.

Corn production in the US

Corn for ethanol accounts for approximately 40% of the crop’s use in the US and production has been increasing once again following a decline in sales due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the US, many areas have had low levels of rainfall over the past three months. According to AccuWeather, areas in the western part of the corn belt are “roughly 50-70% below normal precipitation over the last three months”.

However, rain forecast over the coming days will help crops. AccuWeather meteorologist Dave Samuhel stated: “The corn will be hitting the pollination stage in mid to late July, and the plants need to be watered going into that period. And they’ve had a week where there has been little to no rain.”

Commodities analyst with AccuWeather, John Candor, commented this week saying that “the next four to six weeks makes or breaks the corn crop”.

He added: “The pollination this year based on when the corn was planted will be between July 10 and July 30. Roughly 90% of the crop will pollinate then, so that’s when it’s most critical.”

The crop is still on track for a bumper yield and as we know here in Ireland a large amount of maize on the market does not do grain prices any favours.

Spring crop yields revised upwards in Europe

The MARS bulletin published by the European Commission on June 15 forecast an increase in spring barley yield in Europe compared to the five-year average.

It also expects grain maize and sunflower yields to increase, while winter cereal yields are expected to decline.

Lack of rainfall at flowering and grain filling is contributing to the decline in winter cereal yield.

Also Read: Winter cereal yields revised downwards by EU Commission

Grain markets

Some of the main grain market prices are listed in the table below.

On the continent this week the spot price for feed barley (delivered Rouen) was at €158/t on Friday morning, June 19.

The spot price for Free-On-Board (FOB) Creil malting barley was at €175/t.

At home this week prices are available for green wheat at €155/t and green barley at €135/t for Harvest 2020.