The EU Cereals Mintec Category Index (MCI) fell to EUR 201.7/MT on 24th March compared to EUR 220.6/MT the previous month (-8.6%), with falling prices evident across the main constituent commodities (wheat, maize (corn) and barley).
The sharpest decline was attributed to EU wheat prices, with the weekly average price of Euronext wheat September contract charted at EUR 197/MT on 24th March, supported by improved crop conditions for 2021/22, and partly related to the recent resurgence in African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in China raising concerns over export demand.
Maize and barley prices were also pressured towards the end of March. Euronext maize weekly average price reached a four-week low on the 24th March, to EUR 215.7/MT, mirroring a downward trend in the maize benchmark price, due to a slowdown in purchases from China.
European barley prices followed a similar trend. According to market participants, the EU barley market is expected to remain subdued for the remainder of the 2020/21 marketing year, driven by tepid demand, as most of the current crop is already contracted for completion before the end of June. Prices may ease if favourable weather conditions persist for the remainder of the 2021/22 growing cycle.