MI Northern Ireland Market Report

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Movements were mixed across global grain futures last week (22 to 29 June). US wheat and maize futures closed down on the week due to trade tensions, while awaiting data releases.

Meanwhile UK and Paris wheat futures firmed on reports of unfavourable conditions on the continent, with further increases recorded on Monday and Tuesday of this week (2 and 3 July).

The EU Commission cut its forecast for 2018 EU soft wheat production to 137.6Mt, a 2.6Mt reduction from its May projection. Similarly, the forecast for barley output fell 2.6Mt to 58.4Mt. EU soft wheat production is now pegged as the smallest since 2013, when output totalled 136.2Mt, while barley would be the smallest since 2012.

Strategie Grains slashed its estimate of French soft wheat production by over 4Mt to 33.2Mt, down from last year’s production of 36.6Mt (Reuters). Yields in France are thought to have been particularly affected this year by heavy rains in winter and late spring and a crop tour last week revealed widespread problems with the density of wheat ears and grains per ear.

SovEcon revised its forecast for Russia’s 2018 wheat crop downwards on Friday to 72.5Mt. This 0.6Mt reduction from previous estimates was due to cold and rainy weather in Siberia affecting spring wheat planting. This would represent a 15% drop from last year’s record 85Mt wheat harvest (USDA).

A differing picture emerged between oilseed markets last week. Chicago soyabean prices continued on their downward trajectory as large stocks and trade tensions continued to weigh on prices. Meanwhile, Paris rapeseed futures rose for a second week running as worries around the EU rapeseed crop continued to provide upward pressure. Further increases were also recorded on 2 and 3 July.

The EU commission cut its EU rapeseed production forecast to 20.8Mt last week. This is a 0.8Mt cut from its last estimate at the end of May and a 1.2Mt reduction from 2017. Strategie Grains also reduced its estimates for the 2018/19 EU rapeseed crop to 21.1Mt, a 0.3Mt fall from the previous month’s estimates.