Demand for feed remains subdued due to the benign weather conditions. Grass growth continues to remain strong and many animals are now out on grass for the time being at least. The demand for feed wheat remains reasonable however demand for barley remains weak and this is continuing to be a worry as the feeding season window narrows.
Obviously, the continued substitution of maize for barley in animal rations is causing the main problem and it is difficult to see any reversal of this in the short term at least. Despite the stagnant barley trade some of the forward prices deserve consideration. Again, it was encouraging to see further positive movement on field beans prices with Dairygold offering a minimum price of €211 for the 2019 crop.
New crop 2019 Irish prices. Basis November ex. store are €192/t – €195/t for wheat and €185/t – €188/t for barley while OSR is at €380/t.
Native/Import Dried Prices
|Spot / Feb 6th 2019||April – Jun 2019||New Crop 2019|
|Wheat||€216/t – €220/t||€220/t – €222/t||€192 – 195|
|Barley||€207||€185 – 188|
|Oats||€245 – €255|
International grain markets remain range bound again this week although they remain at the top of the range in the US as a weaker dollar and the prospects of increased demand is underpinning the market. Earlier in the week there was a confidence boost for EU wheat as French and Romanian wheat secured an Egyptian tender as Black sea wheat was overpriced. However, this was short lived as Black sea prices have now stalled but, with domestic prices in these countries having increased it should keep some lid on exports. Data released on Monday showed European Union soft wheat exports in the 2018/19 season that started in July had reached 9.4 million tonnes by Feb. 3, down 26 percent from 12.8 million a year earlier. It also showed EU 2018/19 barley exports were at 2.9 million tonnes, down 15 percent from 3.4 million in 2017/18. Regarding crop progress in the important Black sea area the majority of Ukrainian winter grain crops sown for the 2019 grain harvest are in a good order with rising temperatures preventing ice formation on fields.
Meanwhile Imports of corn into the EU continue to power ahead with 2018/19 maize imports now at 14.6 million tonnes, up 45 percent from 10.1 million a year earlier. Corn futures along with other crop markets are treading water as all traders await the release of the USDA crop forecasts and estimates which are due for release this Friday Feb 8th. Some reports suggest that corn plantings could be up in Brazil as there will be no delay to the planting of second corn as the soybean harvest is further advanced than last year which will allow planting to commence in good conditions.
Despite more optimism on the purchase of US soybeans by China these futures still remain range bound. Although the Brazilian crop estimates have been reduced to 112m tonnes it will still be one of the largest harvests on record. In the EU it is anticipated that rapeseed production will be on a par with 2018 as the lower planted area will be offset by higher yields. However, this will still be over 2 million tonnes down on 2017 which is supporting future prices.