Markets volatile on the cusp of harvest
As combines get ready to roll across the south of the country, the volatile grain market is once again on edge.
It is estimated that between 15pc and 30pc of the harvest has already been sold forward by farmers but the remainder have opted to wait for harvest prices.
Prices of €174/t for green barley and €184/t for green wheat were on offer from Glanbia since the last harvest, and presumably bigger suppliers would have negotiated for higher.
Early last week, prices were €20/t lower at €154/t, and as the week unfolded they weakened further. The release of a bearish report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday prompted a rush out of grain stock, with prices on all international markets falling as a result.
The USDA reported that this year's area of maize planted was the second highest since World War II and stocks are also higher than expected. While wheat and soyabean planting is down, the USDA reported higher than expected stocks on hand.
The news caused investors to rush out grains, resulting in Chicago prices falling.
In Europe, new crop November wheat fell by £11.45/t (€12.66/t) to £157.05/t (€173.75/t), while November Paris wheat closed €15.25/t lower at €184.50/t and May 2012 fell €13/t to €192.75/t.
The market rebounded somewhat on Friday after Thursday's steep losses, with London wheat regaining £3.45/t (€3.81/t) to £174.45/t (€177.58/t). In Paris, November wheat on the Matif gained €3.25/t to finish at €187.75/t.