Farm Ireland

Monday 19 February 2018

Grainmen told to seek out forward grain prices

Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

As the barley harvest cranks up a gear this week, tillage farmers have been warned to be on the lookout for forward grain prices that suit them.

International markets continue to yo-yo, but firm prices have emerged in the past week for green barley, which is €157-160/t at 20pc moisture, excluding VAT, with wheat €2-3/t higher.

Weather events and speculation continue to create volatility on the international markets, as analysts watch the US maize crop in particular.

European feed grain prices have fallen since last Tuesday as forecasters predicted a cooling of the US heat wave and Russia increased its grain export forecast by another 1m tonnes to 18m tonnes.

However, US maize and wheat had recovered again by Friday as the forecasters predicted a return of the heat wave to the Midwest states.

New crop-dried Irish grain prices opened the week at €188-190/t for barley, with €192-193/t on offer for wheat.

Following the US maize story, barley and wheat here rose to €195/t by Tuesday for October collection but fell again by Friday to dried barley prices of €188-190/t and €190/t for dried wheat at harvest and €195/t for October collection.

Old crop-dried grain prices remain strong, with wheat trading at €220-222/t and barley at €202-204/t.

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IFA grain chairman Noel Delany warned tillage farmers that buyers would attempt to talk down prices as the harvest gets into full swing.

"Growers need to remain vigilant as markets are volatile," he advised. "There will be opportunities to sell forward and growers need to take them when they occur. Some buyers are currently offering €160/t for green barley, at 20pc moisture exclusive of VAT."

Meanwhile winter barley yields are at 2.6-4.2t/ac, with bushel weights of 66-71kph.

See pages 12 and 13 for a full harvest round up.

Indo Farming