Grain price: Wheat shows some positivity this week

Wheat prices lifted towards the end of the week. Matif wheat for September was at €191.50/t on Thursday evening, May 21, although this figure dropped back to €188/t on Friday afternoon.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat also jumped back up to 516c/bu on Thursday evening, having closed at 497c/bu on Monday. Revisions of production no doubt played a role in the market changes.

Yields estimated down

On Monday of this week, May 18, the European Commission’s MARS report forecast reduced yields on winter crops due to significant soil moisture deficits in large areas of Europe.

The report reduced the winter wheat yield forecast by 2.6% from last month to 5.72t/ha. This is also down 0.9% on the five-year average. Winter barley yield was estimated to be down by 4.9% to 5.63t/ha. This is down 2% from the five-year average.

Winter rapeseed is forecast to take the biggest hit. Its yield was reduced by 6.1% from the month of April to 2.95t/ha. This is down 4.4% on the five-year average.

The Russian agriculture minister Dmitry Patrushev estimated the grain harvest to be slightly lower than in 2019 this season due to dry weather. Yields are expected to decline to 120 million tonnes.

On Monday, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) reported spot wheat prices of €198-202/t and spot barley prices of €167-170/t.

Grain markets

At home, earlier this week prices of €167/t for barley and €194/t for wheat were available for dried grain.

Global grain markets improved in the later part of this week as forecasts for reductions in grain yield affected markets.

Feed barley on the continent was at a spot price of €168/t (delivered Rouen) on Friday morning, May 22. The spot price for Free-OnBoard (FOB) Creil two-row malting barley was at €180/t on Friday morning.

Wednesday’s 2020 FOB Creil Planet malting barley price also finished at €180/t. Chinese buyers are thought to have entered the market.

This brings the average FOB Creil Planet malting barley price, which will be used as the harvest price for Boortmalt suppliers, so far this season to €169.28/t. The price has remained relatively stable and has stayed between €167/t and €170/t since averaging began on April 8.

However, growers are still unaware of how much their contracts will be reduced by having been told that they would be reduced on April 21 due to a reduction in demand for malting barley amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

Glanbia and Dairygold have committed to purchasing all contracted malting barley tonnage for this season.