The Mintec global grains index has been trending down since week 26 (26th June 2019), driven by a slight fall in prices for wheat and maize, whilst prices for rice continued relatively stable. This drop follows a spike in grain prices seen between mid-May and end of June, up 7% between 15th May and 26th June. This was mostly the result of rapid increase in prices of US maize driven by anticipated lower supply for 2019/20 as a consequence of delayed planting.
Global maize prices have eased since June after new reports from the USDA showed a better-planted area than anticipated for US maize. However, uncertainty remains in the market over the total output and the quality of yield, causing prices to trend at high levels. The US maize production for 2019/20 is forecast at 352m tonnes – down 4% y-o-y.
Wheat prices have also dropped recently, with the Black Sea’s wheat prices seeing the most significant decline due to expectations of high output for 2019/20, as the harvesting of winter wheat is set to commence. Russian wheat production is anticipated to rise 4% y-o-y. Similarly, with the ongoing wheat harvest in the US, prices have also fallen as new supplies arrive. However, EU wheat prices are up, driven by concerns over hot and dry conditions affecting wheat quality.
Rice prices, on the other hand, have been relatively stable, mostly a result of tight competition amongst the top Asian exporters. Thai prices have been slightly volatile amid fluctuations in the Thai Baht. However, Thai rice prices remain at premium levels compared to Indian and Vietnamese rice. Indian rice prices remain steady, whilst Vietnamese prices rose marginally following buying interest from the Philippines.