The price for organic food-grade corn and soybeans in the fourth quarter averaged above fourth-quarter 2018 values, while durum declined, according to Mercaris, the organic and non-GMO trading platform and market information company.

Organic food-grade corn prices averaged $12.83 per bushel in the fourth quarter (calendar year), up $1.13 per bushel from the same period last year, with no comparison for the prior two quarters.

“Organic corn prices have taken two different tracks since the start of harvest, with feed-grade prices moving mostly sideways, but food-grade showing some bullish support,” said Ryan Koory, director of economics at Mercaris.

“As has been widely reported, the U.S. corn harvest has struggled this year, with Mercaris estimating U.S. organic corn harvest at 91% complete the week ended Dec. 8, more than three weeks behind the five-year average. With the delayed harvest, crop yields and quality have become a primary concern once again. Somewhat unexpectedly, this hasn’t translated into higher prices for feed-grade organic corn. However, it does appear food-grade prices are feeling the heat. Overall, market trading activity has remained tepid over the fourth quarter. However, Mercaris fully looks for activity to pick up in early 2020, after this year’s crop is fully assessed, and buyers begin to look to cover 2020 spring and summer needs.”