Many parts of the country have received twice their annual rainfall amounts for February. At this stage there will not be an early Spring and this has increased the demand for animal feed. This has had a positive effect for the price of barley with signs of upward movement in recent days. There was a gap of up to €30/t between the spot price of barley and wheat but not surprisingly this has narrowed as barley buys back demand in feed rations as the cheaper option.
Again, due to the limited amount of planting, there has been little interest in forward selling, with some quoted prices for September 2020 at €150/t for green barley and €168/t for green wheat.
Rapeseed futures for harvest 2020 remain above €380/t and could represent an option for farmers contemplating Spring rape as an alternative crop this Spring.
Irish Native / Import Dried Feed Prices
|Spot €/t||May 2020 €/t|
|Barley||170 – 175||178|
All markets have been affected by the negative sentiment associated with the possibility of a corona virus pandemic that could weaken the global economy. European wheat futures fell to seven-week lows on news of the continued spread of the virus. Notwithstanding the recent sell off, in general the main wheat markets remain strong due to the reduced Winter wheat plantings in Europe ; historic low plantings in the US and predictions of lower Black sea production versus 2019.Despite a weaker rouble versus the dollar, Russian wheat is still more expensive than EU origin which will ensure continued export demand from Europe.
Corn (Maize) markets have traded in a lower price range to wheat in recent months. The maize harvest in the US turned out better than forecast earlier in 2019 and South American production is looking positive. Like the wheat market the corona virus has proved negative for corn, however recent bearish sentiment has been helped by predictions of record US corn stocks for the 2020/21 season.
Soybeans remain at recent lows. Exports of the crop from the US to China have not materialised despite the Phase 1 trade deal as the Chinese still prefer South American imports.