Harvest prices offered to farmers here in Ireland plummeted this week, hitting €180/t for green barley and €205/t for green wheat as global markets fell dramatically.

Grain prices sank last week and early this week as Matif wheat for December hit €237.75/t on Monday 17 June, closed at €236/t on Tuesday and showed some positivity on Wednesday.

Wheat production is expected to be down in the EU. However, good progress in the US wheat harvest, as well as rain forecasts in parts of Russia and Ukraine, seemed to put pressure on prices.

This drop comes amid expected declines in grain production.

Stratégie Grain latest report forecast a drop in EU wheat production of 1.7m tonnes to 121.8m tonnes since May.

Barley production was also forecast lower at 52.2m tonnes, down from 53m last month.

French wheat looks to be under pressure from wet conditions, but yields won’t be known until combines enter fields and that will affect markets.

The barley harvest is under way in a number of countries and wheat harvesting has started in parts of Europe. Reports from the US suggest that more grain is in farm storage than normal.

Last week’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report from the US Department of Agriculture also suggested that there is lower global wheat supplies.

Maize and barley production is estimated down 1.4m tonnes for 2024/2025. The report stated that: “Foreign barley production is cut, reflecting reductions for the EU, India, Argentina, Russia and Ukraine that are partly offset by an increase for Australia.”

At home, amounts of grain remain in storage and it may be difficult to clear sheds in the lower market.

There is a huge differential between barley and wheat at present, as is clear in the prices reported above, but barley supplies are reported to be tightening.

Oilseed rape

Oilseed rape prices have held somewhat steady for the past week or two after a fall earlier in the month. The November French price fell this week, but climbed back to €476.25/t on Wednesday afternoon. Dairygold offered €420/t for harvest 2024 this week.

Native prices

Spot prices for dried grain are at €210/t to €215/t for barley and €235/t for wheat, with November prices reported at €210 to €215/t for barley and €240 to €245/t for wheat (dried).

Taking €30 to €35/t off for drying, that comes close to the Dairygold prices listed above of €180/t for green barley and €205/t for green wheat.