Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Thursday 30 March 2017

Eurozone debt crisis sees grain prices dip

Cereal drops by ¤4/t as investors turn to safer options such as gold

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

Grain prices dipped last week as the EU debt crisis sparked a massive sell off of all commodities as investors abandoned riskier assets in favour of safe havens such as gold.

Only fears of an unusually tight carryover stock of world maize, which is currently 25 days or less, kept a floor in the grain market and supported prices.

Cereal prices fell significantly on Thursday and Friday, with new crop dried barley trading down €4/t to €190/t. Wheat was more resilient, holding at €194/t despite London futures falling by £4.50/t.

Prices for new crop dried Irish barley closed the week at €190-192/t, with €192-194/t on offer for harvest wheat.

offers

Green offers for barley are ranging from €158-160/t in the southeast to €168.50/t in the midlands, east and northeast for grain at 20pc moisture, excluding VAT.

Grain traders are also waiting for the latest United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop report on US maize stocks, which is due on Thursday.

High maize prices would support feed wheat and barley prices across the world as livestock producers switch from more expensive maize to cheaper cereals such as barley and wheat.


IFA grain chairman Noel Delany said the only advice he could give farmers this week was to consider price offers at €160/t, excluding VAT, or above for green barley at 20pc moisture.

"The ongoing eurozone crisis, coupled with harvest pressure, will increase grain price volatility in the coming weeks," he warned.

"In addition farm-to-farm trade offers a real opportunity to growers for increased margins."

Meanwhile harvesting of winter oats crop has begun, with yields ranging from 2.9t-3.6t/ac.

The crop quality appears to be excellent, with bushel weights ranging from 57-61kph. Green prices are ranging from €158-166/t, while dried prices range from €189-192/t.

Low

The first of the spring barley has also been cut, with Carlow farmers reporting that protein levels for malting barley were on the low side and similar to last year's levels. Bushel weights are excellent, ranging from 65-69kph, but not enough of the crop has been harvested yet to give any firm indication of average yields.

Much of the winter oilseed rape crop has also been cleared at this stage, with varieties such as Excalibur yielding 2-2.4t/ac at moistures as low as 9pc in the northeast.

Prices eased a bit last week as the European harvest exceeded yield expectations. Prices are ranging from €385/t at 10.5pc moisture to €405-415/t dried.

The winter barley harvest is now coming to a close, with an average yield of 3.4-3.5t/ac, although individual crops ranged from 2.6t/ac up to over 4.7t/ac.

Bushel weights in general were excellent, ranging from the mid sixties to the low seventies.

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