Quiet grain trade market, focus is on growth

26-03-2021 | |
Grain trade market
Photo: Peter J.E.Roek

Grain price levels are still high, but wheat is under pressure. Maize remains in demand, but the focus is keenly on harvesting and sowing activities.

Wheat quotations are under pressure due to the favourable outlook for world wheat production in the coming season, reports the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. Winter wheat and barley are doing considerably better in France than this time last year. About 87% is in good to excellent condition, reports France Agrimer.

The price for the May 2021 contract on the futures market in Paris dropped € 3.50 per tonne last week, in small increments. This was also the picture on the physical world market: a slight drop in price. American wheat is pricey for export, at the current freight costs and the dollar level. The buyers are keeping a close eye on the new harvest. Rain has improved the condition of the wheat in the United States. Incidentally, the currently applicable Russian system of export levies for wheat makes the trade in new crops extremely difficult, if not impossible, reports the agricultural-economic site Agrimoney. Russian wheat is now too expensive. The question is whether compensation can be found elsewhere for the 10 to 12 million tons that Russia usually ships during the harvest period.

China buys a lot of corn

Despite reports that the rebuilding of the Chinese pig herd is not going well. Plus reports that the Chinese government wants to limit the use of corn and soy in animal feed. China bought a very large amount (3.9 million tons) of American corn last week, reports market agency Agritel.

More influences on grain trade market

The Chinese purchase obviously has a significant price support, although there are more influences. In Brazil, for example, the rate of maize sowing has been accelerated thanks to improved weather conditions. Most of the plantings have now been completed in the important maize region of Mato Grosso. The situation has also cleared up somewhat in Argentina, where rain has fallen again. Admittedly, it was very much needed and there are doubts whether it is in time to prevent the hectare yield of the maize there being disappointing.

Jack Kwakman Freelance journalist