18 April 2015 | Online since 2003


EU Reports

18 April 2015 | EU Reports
17/04/15 -- EU grains were mixed, but mostly a little lower on the day. Rapeseed again bucked the trend, and was the only commodity to post a net weekly gain.

The session ended with May 15 London wheat down GBP0.35/tonne at GBP115.30/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat was down EUR0.50/tonne at EUR182.75/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn fell EUR1.25/tonne to EUR162.75/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.50/tonne to close at EUR374.00/tonne.

For the week, London wheat fell GBP5.20/tonne, or 4.3%, with Paris wheat down EUR7.50/tonne, or 3.9%. Paris corn lost a more modest EUR1.50/tonne, or less than 1%, and Paris rapeseed rose EUR4.25/tonne, or 1.3%, versus last Friday.

The spread between old crop and new crop London wheat continues to widen, finishing at GBP10.40/tonne tonight, up from GBP9.75/tonne last week and GBP8.80/tonne at the beginning of the month. It's clearly the old crop that's under pressure for the time being.

As mentioned previously, wheat carryover stocks are seen much higher in Europe at the end of the season than they were a year ago - despite exports running at record levels. The firm US dollar means that their export campaign has been a poor one in 2014/15, so their stocks are higher too. In Russia, bumper production last year, and the introduction of the Feb 1 export duty on wheat, also means that they will begin 2015/16 with much higher stocks than a year ago.

Rosstat reported that Russian grain stocks held in commercial hands as of Apr 1 were 22.7 MMT, up 17.3% compared with a year previously. Grain harvesting and processing organisations were sitting on 29.5% more inventory than a year ago, including 20.6% more wheat.

The Russians have now stated that a decision on whether to alter, cancel or prolong the export duty on wheat won't be made any earlier than mid-June.

Meanwhile spring grain planting is about 6.4% complete on 2 million ha in Russia, down from the 2.2 million ha that had been sown this time a year ago.

Ukraine has also planted 2 million ha of early spring grains, which in their case is 86% of the planned area. The majority of that is spring barley, which has been sown on 1.5 million ha, or 85% of government expectations. Ukraine’s statistics agency said Ukraine’s April 1st grain stocks were 16.2 MMT, up 33% from a year ago

Corn planting is also now underway in Ukraine, with an estimated 2% of the 2015 crop now in the ground. Agritel say that most analysts are predicting the Ukraine corn planted area to decline 5-8% this year, estimating plantings themselves at 4.4 million ha, a 6.4% fall compared to 4.7 million ha a year ago.

They also forecast the EU 2015 corn crop at 66 MMT, down 10.8% on last year's record 74 MMT. French sowing is expected to make further rapid progress next week if the weather forecast for warm and dry conditions holds true, they said.

FranceAgriMer today said that a quarter of the anticipated French corn crop was planted in the week through to Apr 13, taking the total area sown to 27%, although that's still down on 35% complete this time a year ago.

French spring barley planting has been finished for a few weeks now, and the crop is 100% emerged and 46% at the early tillering stage versus 18% a week ago and 41% this time last year.

As far as crop conditions go, 92% of French winter wheat is rated good to very good, up a point on a week ago and 17 points ahead of this time last year. Winter barley ratings were unchanged on last week at 91% good to very good versus only 74% at this point in 2014. Spring barley is seen at 96% good to very good, unchanged on last week and up from only 77% this time last year.

In other news, Reuters reported that Germany would load a 60,000 MT wheat cargo destined for Iran next week. The Middle Eastern nation has become a major buyer of German wheat over the last 6 months after Western sanctions against them were relaxed.



17 April 2015 | EU Reports
16/04/15 -- EU grains continue to slide, despite the strong export programme. London wheat took out the March lows and settled at the lowest for a front month since October 20. For Paris wheat the March low of EUR181/tonne is still intact, but only just.

Slumping US wheat prices, large global carryover stocks and the ever-nearing 2015 harvest are all adding to the negative vibe.

The latest figures from the USDA put wheat stocks in the US up 16% this year, with those in Russia seen almost 66% higher and those in Europe rising almost 54% at the end of the current season.

The day ended with May 15 London wheat down GBP2.30/tonne at GBP115.65/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat fell EUR2.00/tonne to EUR183.25/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn was EUR1.50/tonne lower at EUR164.00/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed fell EUR3.75/tonne to EUR371.25/tonne.

At the close, the May 15 old crop/Nov 15 new crop spread on London wheat had widened a little more to now stand at GBP10.15/tonne. By comparison the similar May 15/Dec 15 carry on Paris wheat is only EUR2.25/tonne.

Last week's nine month low volume of weekly soft wheat export licences (189 TMT) proved to be just a blip, with Brussels granting more than 740 TMT worth this time round. The season to date total of 26.42 MMT is now more than 2 MMT ahead of this time last year when exports went on to be a record high.

No surprises then that French analysts Strategie Grains raised their forecast for EU soft wheat exports by 2.1 MMT to a record 32.0 MMT. That reduces ending stocks to 16.2 MMT, although that's still a hefty volume to carryover. Ending stocks last season were less than 10 MMT, according to USDA figures.

Bloomberg reported that the French port of Rouen exported more than 240 TMT of soft wheat in the past week, up two thirds on the previous week. The volume was boosted by more than 200 TMT destined for Morocco - said to be the largest weekly total to that destination since at least Aug 2010. The figure also included a consignment of French soft wheat destined for the Philippines, the first such shipment also since at least Aug 2010.

Russian analysts ProZerno estimated the 2015 grain crop there at 100.4 MMT, which is slightly higher even than the official Ministry forecast. They see wheat production at 58.1 MMT (versus 59.7 MMT a year ago), with corn output falling to 10.9 MMT (from 11.3 MMT) and that of barley down to 17.6 MMT (from 20.4 MMT). Despite the reductions, an overall cut in grain production of only 4.6% looks surprisingly optimistic.

MDA CropCast trimmed their forecast for the EU wheat crop by almost 4 MMT to 143.16 MMT, a 4.3% decline on a year ago. The reduction was mostly due to acreage adjustments, they said. Dryness building in the UK, France and Germany got a mention.

The EU barley crop was also estimated lower than previously, down 300 TMT to 56.7 MMT, which is 1 MMT below last year. This was also due to revised acreage estimates.

What's happening to all that land you might ask. They seem to think that it's gone into rapeseed, forecasting the EU crop at 24.53 MMT, which is 3.44 MMT higher than previously and around 3.5 MMT more than the figure suggested by Oil World just a couple of days ago. I'm not aware of anybody else who currently shares this view.

On the international tender front, Ethiopia are in the market for 400,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat for July–August shipment.

New crop Russian 12.5% milling wheat was apparently offered in the market at USD198/tonne for Jul/Aug shipment. Old crop Ukraine 12.5% milling wheat was quoted at USD210/tonne. Both prices being on an FOB the Black Sea basis.



16 April 2015 | EU Reports
15/04/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, with wheat generally following US markets lower, but corn and rapeseed mostly a little firmer.

At the finish, May 15 London wheat was down GBP0.55/tonne at GBP117.95/tonne; May 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.50/tonne easier at EUR185.25/tonne; Jun 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.50/tonne at EUR165.50/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR375.00/tonne.

US wheat markets remain under pressure from an improving weather outlook on the Southern Plains, with Chicago wheat prices having fallen by 8.6% so far this month. London and Paris wheat futures have been dragged down by the falling Chicago market, and all three are now threatening to test the March lows.

Market attention is now very much focused on new crop production prospects.

The Russian Ag Ministry maintained their outlook - that the country will produce 100 MMT of grains this year. That's a relatively modest 4.8% drop on last year, given all the trade chatter of poor establishment prior to winter and farmers' reduced ability to fund spring fieldwork activities.

An interesting development to the situation there today was Bloomberg reporting that the Russian Ag Minister said that they "may" decide on what to do next with the wheat export tax that was introduced on Feb 1 around May/June.

The decision will be based on the condition of the winter wheat crop, the report said. This is the first hint that the future of the duty is more dependent on 2015 production prospects than anything else.

In a separate report from APK Inform, a Russian official was quoted as saying that it was possible that the government could prolong the export duty into the 2015/16 marketing year. Up until now, most in the trade seemed to think that the two main considerations were would the duty run right through to the end of June or would it be abolished before then. Now we seem to have the possibility that it may in fact ultimately be extended.

It will be interesting now to see if new crop offers out of Russia still continue to be put up aggressively. According to Agritel yesterday, Russian new crop 12.5% milling wheat was being offered FOB the Black Sea at USD205/tonne for Jul/Aug shipment, which is the equivalent of less than GBP140/tonne.

Meanwhile, spring grain planting in Russia is still in its infancy at 5.9% complete on 1.8 million ha (versus 2.0 million this time last year).

In Ukraine, early spring grains (which excludes crops like corn and soybeans/sunflowers) have also been planted on 1.8 million ha, which is 81% of their anticipated total area. That consists mainly of barley, which has been planted on 1.4 million ha, or 80% of the government target.

According to the Ukraine Ag Ministry, 89% of winter grains have now had a fertiliser application, along with 87% of winter OSR.

Another interesting development yesterday was the EU Environment Committee voting 51-12 (with one abstention) to limit the percentage of biofuel made from crops to 7% of the mandated 10% target of final energy consumption in transport set to be achieved by 2020. The moved is aimed to accelerate the shift to producing biofuel from alternative sources.

In other news, Germany's DRV estimated the wheat crop there this year at 26.72 MMT, a fall of 3.8% versus a year ago. Barley production will drop 5.4% to 10.93 MMT, corn output will drop 7.8% to 4.74 MMT and that of winter rapeseed will decline 15.8% to 5.25 MMT, they said.

Ukraine said that it had shipped almost 200 TMT of wheat to the EU in Jan/Feb under the special duty-free quota agreement that exists. Italy was the main buyer, taking more than 131 TMT, followed by Spain (almost 30 TMT) and the UK (over 16 TMT).

UkrAgroConsult reported that Ukraine had exported 900 TMT of grains so far this month, of which 189 TMT was wheat and 717 TMT was corn.



15 April 2015 | EU Reports
14/04/15 -- EU grains were mixed on the day with May 15 London wheat ending GBP0.45/tonne higher at GBP118.50/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat was down EUR1.00/tonne at EUR186.75/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn advanced EUR0.75/tonne to EUR165.00/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR0.25/tonne to close at EUR374.75/tonne.

For rapeseed this was the best close for a front month in almost a year.

Oil World estimated the EU-28 2015 rapeseed crop at 21.5 MMT, down 11% versus 24.2 MMT a year ago. That's partly due to lower plantings (down 4.4% at 6.5 million ha), and also reduced yield expectations (with the EU average seen down 8.3% at 3.3 MT/ha).

Nevertheless, this would still be Europe's second largest crop ever.

Production in Germany is seen falling 1 MMT, or almost 16%, to 5.3 MMT. That's still just enough to keep them top of the EU production table though, just ahead of France's 5.2 MMT crop.

In the UK, output is forecast at 2.3 MMT, an 8% decline on last year. Plantings here were estimated 4.5% lower at 640k ha, with anticipated yields falling 2.5% to average 3.56 MT/ha.

In their first estimate for 2015, the USDA's FAS in Europe forecast this year's all wheat crop at 151.0 MMT, a 3.5% decline on last year. They see wheat exports in 2015/16 down 1 MMT on this season's anticipated record 32.5 MMT, but that's still a decent volume. Ending stocks next season are estimated at 6.7 MMT, a decrease of more than 16% versus 8.0 MMT at the end of the current marketing year.

For corn, they estimate an EU-28 crop of 67.7 MMT in 2015, a 6 MMT fall, or down 8%, compared to last year's record. They forecast the bloc's corn imports therefore rising 4 MMT next season, or 50%, to 12 MMT.

In other news, APK Inform said that Russia's seaports exported almost 329 TMT of grains last week, a similar volume to the previous week (322 TMT). That total included 190.5 TMT of wheat, 41.6 TMT of corn and 90.3 TMT of barley.

Rusagrotrans reduced their forecast for Russia's April grain exports from 1.2 MMT to 1.1 MMT, which includes around 400 TMT of wheat (versus 534 TMT in March), 300 TMT of barley (from 734 TMT in March) and 350 TMT of corn (from 440 TMT last month).

The Russian Ag Ministry estimated spring crops had been planted on 1.6 million ha, or 5% of the forecast for the season, down versus 2.0 million ha this time a year ago.

It is interesting to note that Russia's imports of corn seed fell sharply last month compared to a year previously, down almost 38%, according to customs data. That doesn't bode well for final yields later this year.

It is also probably likely that this situation is also being replicated in spring wheat and barley plantings, with more lower quality home grown seed getting sown, rather than higher yielding (but more expensive) hybrid varieties.

Ukraine seaports exported almost 450 TMT of grain last week, up sharply from 303 TMT the previous week. The total was made up entirely of corn (360 TMT) and a little wheat (89.5 TMT), said APK Inform.

The Kazakhstan Ag Ministry estimated their Apr 1 grain stocks at almost 10 MMT including more than 8.5 MMT of wheat.



14 April 2015 | EU Reports
13/04/15 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, following the US wheat market down after weekend rains in the US breadbasket states of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas proved to be heavier and more widespread than expected.

The day ended with May 15 London wheat down GBP2.45/tonne at GBP118.05/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat fell EUR2.50/tonne to EUR187.75/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn was unchanged at EUR164.25/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR4.75/tonne at EUR374.50/tonne.

At the close, the May 15 old crop/Nov 15 new crop spread on London wheat had widened to exactly GBP10/tonne. By comparison the similar May 15/Dec 15 carry on Paris wheat is only EUR2.25/tonne tonight.

In the case of London wheat the gap between the two crop years is rather large indeed, which would suggest that either old crop prices need to move up, or new crop prices must come down. The large volume of unsold 2014 harvest wheat still being carried by UK growers might suggest that the former scenario is the least likely. So too might the relatively narrow differential between new crop London/Paris wheat. We shall see...

Based on current crop conditions and official planting estimates, France could be in for a record soft wheat crop in 2015. Harvesting of that is only 3 months away.

Despite a strong export campaign, FranceAgriMer last week estimated 2014/15 soft what ending stocks up more than 50%, with barley stocks up by a third and those for corn rising by double that percentage.

Meanwhile Russia also looks set to carry a large volume of old crop wheat into new crop following the Feb 1 introduction of the punitive export duty on wheat, which could minimise potential losses to the 2015 crop from poorly established crops prior to the onset of winter and reduced yields due to financial cut-backs.

Rusagrotrans last week estimated Russia's 2014/15 grain ending stocks at a record 15.5 MMT, far higher than the previous all time high (10.6 MMT) set in the export embargo season of 2010/11.

Russia's wheat exports since the duty was introduced (Feb 1 to Apr 8) fell 59% year-on-year to 1.1 MMT, according to the Russian Ag Ministry. Even so that still takes full season exports to 19.6 MMT versus 15.6 MMT a year previously.

Full season so far Russian barley exports have more than doubled year-on-year at 4.5 MMT. Cumulative corn exports meanwhile are down by more than a third at 2.1 MMT.

Spring grains have so far been planted on 1.4 million hectares in Russia versus 1.7 million this time last year, say the Ag Ministry.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry meanwhile said that winter cereal crop losses were only 0.4%, and said that 87% of the crop is in good to satisfactory condition. Winter OSR in Ukraine hasn't fared so well however, with an estimated 9% of the crop "lost" and a further 13% of autumn plantings rated as "weak/thinned".

One Ukrainian analyst estimated their 2015 wheat crop at 20.0 MMT, down 17% from 24.1 MMT last year.

Egypt said that they aim to buy 3.7 MMT of wheat on the domestic market in a purchasing campaign that starts tomorrow and will last for three months.

Iraq are tendering for 50,000 MT of US, Canadian, Australian or Russian wheat.



13 April 2015 | EU Reports
10/04/15 -- EU grains closed higher on the day, but generally lower for the week, with the exception of Paris rapeseed.

At the finish, May 15 London wheat was up GBP0.75/tonne at GBP120.50/tonne; May 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne higher at EUR190.25/tonne; Jun 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.25/tonne at EUR164.25/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was also EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR369.75/tonne.

For the week nearby London wheat still fell GBP2.45/tonne, whilst Paris wheat was down EUR3.50/tonne, corn shed EUR0.25/tonne and rapeseed added EUR6.00/tonne. New crop Nov 15 London wheat fared a little better than old crop May 15, widening the premium available on the carry from GBP8.80/tonne a week ago to GBP9.75/tonne tonight.

That keeps the pressure off the many still holding significant volumes of old crop wheat unsold. How many can afford to continue to do so, and will have the physical space available to do so past harvest 2015 remains an unanswered question for now.

Customs data shows that the UK exported 267 TMT of wheat in February, a 3-year high, with the top home being Spain taking around half of that volume. The vast majority of the rest of it (more than 135 TMT) went to non-EU homes including such exotic destinations as the Philippines and Thailand.

Despite that being a good month, year-to-date exports are still only 1.34 MMT, around 38% of the UK's exportable surplus

For once, Europe didn't have a good week on the export front, with Brussels granting only 189 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week - a nine month low. Still, cumulative season to date exports are an impressive 25.68 MMT - up 7.6% versus 23.86 MMT this time a year ago.

The EU also awarded nearly 43 TMT worth of licences to import Ukraine wheat as part of a preferential duty free quota system. They've now awarded 315 TMT worth of these out of a total 2015 available volume of 950 TMT.

FranceAgriMer estimated both the French winter wheat winter barley crops at 91% good to excellent, both unchanged on a week ago, and both well ahead of only 76% this time last year.

They said that 90% of winter wheat is now displaying an ear of at least 1cm, up from 73% a week ago, but 6 points down on last year. The proportion of the French winter barley crop at that stage is 98% versus 81% a week ago and 99% this time last year.

French spring barley planting is complete, and the crop is 92% emerged versus 76% last week and 90% this time last year. Corn planting is just getting going at 2% complete nationally versus 10% this time last year.

Morocco said that it was to increase the import duty on wheat from 17.5% to a whopping 75% "to protect the local market". The new duty will come into force on May 1. They are clearly expecting a bumper harvest this year, with cereal production estimated at "more than 10 MMT" versus only 6.7 MMT a year ago.

The pound was down around 2 cents against the US dollar for the week, but up around 2 euro cents versus the single currency.

Greece said it made the EUR460 million payment that was due to the IMF yesterday, but several much larger debt repayments are looming in the weeks ahead. The EU says it wants a firm agreement on Greek reforms to be in place by the time of the next Eurogroup meeting on Apr 24 before it hands over the next enormous tranche of bailout money (EUR7.2 billion).



12 April 2015 | EU Reports
10/04/15 -- EU grains closed higher on the day, and with the Paris markets also higher for the week.

At the finish, May 15 London wheat was up GBP0.75/tonne at GBP120.50/tonne; May 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne higher at EUR190.25/tonne; Jun 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.25/tonne at EUR164.25/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was also EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR369.75/tonne.

For the week nearby London wheat still fell GBP1.05/tonne, whilst Paris wheat was up EUR1.50/tonne, corn grained EUR1.75/tonne and rapeseed added EUR6.00/tonne. New crop Nov 15 London wheat fared a little better than old crop May 15, widening the premium available on the carry from GBP8.80/tonne a week ago to GBP9.75/tonne tonight.

That keeps the pressure off the many still holding significant volumes of old crop wheat unsold. How many can afford to continue to do so, and will have the physical space available to do so past harvest 2015 remains an unanswered question for now.

Customs data shows that the UK exported 267 TMT of wheat in February, a 3-year high, with the top home being Spain taking around half of that volume. The vast majority of the rest of it (more than 135 TMT) went to non-EU homes including such exotic destinations as the Philippines and Thailand.

Despite that being a good month, year-to-date exports are still only 1.34 MMT, around 38% of the UK's exportable surplus

For once, Europe didn't have a good week on the export front, with Brussels granting only 189 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week - a nine month low. Still, cumulative season to date exports are an impressive 25.68 MMT - up 7.6% versus 23.86 MMT this time a year ago.

The EU also awarded nearly 43 TMT worth of licences to import Ukraine wheat as part of a preferential duty free quota system. They've now awarded 315 TMT worth of these out of a total 2015 available volume of 950 TMT.

FranceAgriMer estimated both the French winter wheat winter barley crops at 91% good to excellent, both unchanged on a week ago, and both well ahead of only 76% this time last year.

They said that 90% of winter wheat is now displaying an ear of at least 1cm, up from 73% a week ago, but 6 points down on last year. The proportion of the French winter barley crop at that stage is 98% versus 81% a week ago and 99% this time last year.

French spring barley planting is complete, and the crop is 92% emerged versus 76% last week and 90% this time last year. Corn planting is just getting going at 2% complete nationally versus 10% this time last year.

Morocco said that it was to increase the import duty on wheat from 17.5% to a whopping 75% "to protect the local market". The new duty will come into force on May 1. They are clearly expecting a bumper harvest this year, with cereal production estimated at "more than 10 MMT" versus only 6.7 MMT a year ago.

The pound was down around 2 cents against the US dollar for the week, but up around 2 euro cents versus the single currency, which helps explain the week-on-week performance of London wheat versus the French markets.

Greece said it made the EUR460 million payment that was due to the IMF yesterday, but several much larger debt repayments are looming in the weeks ahead. The EU says it wants a firm agreement on Greek reforms to be in place by the time of the next Eurogroup meeting on Apr 24 before it hands over the next enormous tranche of bailout money (EUR7.2 billion).



12 April 2015 | EU Reports
10/04/15 -- EU grains closed higher on the day, and with the Paris markets also higher for the week.

At the finish, May 15 London wheat was up GBP0.75/tonne at GBP120.50/tonne; May 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne higher at EUR190.25/tonne; Jun 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.25/tonne at EUR164.25/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was also EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR369.75/tonne.

For the week nearby London wheat still fell GBP1.05/tonne, whilst Paris wheat was up EUR1.50/tonne, corn grained EUR1.75/tonne and rapeseed added EUR6.00/tonne. New crop Nov 15 London wheat fared a little better than old crop May 15, widening the premium available on the carry from GBP8.75/tonne a week ago to GBP9.75/tonne tonight.

That keeps the pressure off the many still holding significant volumes of old crop wheat unsold. How many can afford to continue to do so, and will have the physical space available to do so past harvest 2015 remains an unanswered question for now.

Customs data shows that the UK exported 267 TMT of wheat in February, a 3-year high, with the top home being Spain taking around half of that volume. The vast majority of the rest of it (more than 135 TMT) went to non-EU homes including such exotic destinations as the Philippines and Thailand.

Despite that being a good month, year-to-date exports are still only 1.34 MMT, around 38% of the UK's exportable surplus

For once, Europe didn't have a good week on the export front, with Brussels granting only 189 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week - a nine month low. Still, cumulative season to date exports are an impressive 25.68 MMT - up 7.6% versus 23.86 MMT this time a year ago.

The EU also awarded nearly 43 TMT worth of licences to import Ukraine wheat as part of a preferential duty free quota system. They've now awarded 315 TMT worth of these out of a total 2015 available volume of 950 TMT.

FranceAgriMer estimated both the French winter wheat winter barley crops at 91% good to excellent, both unchanged on a week ago, and both well ahead of only 76% this time last year.

They said that 90% of winter wheat is now displaying an ear of at least 1cm, up from 73% a week ago, but 6 points down on last year. The proportion of the French winter barley crop at that stage is 98% versus 81% a week ago and 99% this time last year.

French spring barley planting is complete, and the crop is 92% emerged versus 76% last week and 90% this time last year. Corn planting is just getting going at 2% complete nationally versus 10% this time last year.

Morocco said that it was to increase the import duty on wheat from 17.5% to a whopping 75% "to protect the local market". The new duty will come into force on May 1. They are clearly expecting a bumper harvest this year, with cereal production estimated at "more than 10 MMT" versus only 6.7 MMT a year ago.

The pound was down around 2 cents against the US dollar for the week, but up around 2 euro cents versus the single currency, which helps explain the week-on-week performance of London wheat versus the French markets.

Greece said it made the EUR460 million payment that was due to the IMF yesterday, but several much larger debt repayments are looming in the weeks ahead. The EU says it wants a firm agreement on Greek reforms to be in place by the time of the next Eurogroup meeting on Apr 24 before it hands over the next enormous tranche of bailout money (EUR7.2 billion).



10 April 2015 | EU Reports
09/04/15 -- EU grains were mixed on the day with May 15 London wheat ending GBP0.80/tonne weaker at GBP119.75/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat was down EUR0.750/tonne at EUR189.2/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn slipped EUR0.25/tonne to EUR164.00/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR4.25/tonne to EUR369.50/tonne.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry reported that good spring rains mean that 99% of winter grains are in good condition, up from around 82% a couple of months ago. Private analyst Agritel aren't quite so bullish, estimating that 41.6% of winter grains to be in good condition and rating 44.3% as satisfactory, which leaves 14.1% rated as poor.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that early spring grains (mostly barley) had now been planted on 1.5 million hectares.

Rusagrotrans said that Russian 2014/15 grain ending stocks would come in at a record 15.5 MMT, including an estimated 2.1 MMT held in intervention. That would easily beat the previous all time high of 10.6 MMT, set at the end of the 2010/11 crop year - the season that Russia last introduced an outright wheat export embargo.

They went on to estimate Russian grain production at 93-98 MMT this year.

Separately, Agritel estimated 79% of Russian winter grains to be in good condition.

At home, Defra said that the wheat inclusion rate in compound feed production in February rose to 69.5% of all cereals used versus 68.2% in January. Barley's slice of the cake fell from 23.3% in January to 22.1% in February.

Late in the day, the USDA's April WASDE report raised the outlook for EU wheat exports this season by 2 MMT to a new record 33.5 MMT, which would now beat last season's all time high by almost 1.5 MMT.

"The EU has abundant supplies, freight and logistical advantages (over America) to North Africa and the Middle East, and competitive prices. France has an unusually large supply of feed-quality wheat, which is being exported to Southeast Asian markets," they said.

The report also raised Russia's export potential this season by 0.5 MMT to 20.5 MMT.

Egypt's wheat import needs were raised 0.2 MMT to 10.7 MMT as consumption is seen rising from the 18.4 MMT forecast a month ago to a new figure of 18.9 MMT.

Despite the 2 MMT hike in EU exports, ending stocks here were only lowered a little - down from the 15.82 MMT predicted a month ago to 15.33 MMT. That's because the USDA also forecast lower EU wheat consumption this season than they did in March - that was reduced from 124.5 MMT to 123.1 MMT.

EU 2014/15 barley exports were left unchanged at 7.5 MMT, with ending stocks reduced slightly to 5.44 MMT.



8 April 2015 | EU Reports
08/04/15 -- EU grains closed mostly lower with May 15 London wheat down GBP1.30/tonne at GBP120.55/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat fell EUR1.50/tonne to EUR190.00/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn slipped EUR1.00/tonne at EUR164.25/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.50/tonne at EUR365.25/tonne.

FranceAgriMer raised their forecasts for French soft wheat, barley and corn exports from last month. Despite those increases though ending stocks for 2014/15 are still seen up massively from where they were 12 months ago.

That's pretty ominous for supplies in 2015/16, given the vibe coming out of France for this year's wheat production prospects, with plantings at a more than 20 year high and over 90% of the crop rated good to very good.

The bare numbers are that French soft wheat exports will total 18.26 MMT this season, up from 18.03 MMT previously, although still down on last year's 19.17 MMT. Ending stocks are forecast at 3.58 MMT, which is 52.7% up compared with inventories at the end of 2013/14.

Corn exports are now seen at 7.09 MMT (6.89 MMT previously), up 35% on a year ago. Even so, there will still be 3.77 MMT of last year's bumper crop around at the end of the season, a 64.5% increase versus a year previously.

French barley exports will total 6.12 MMT this season (from the 6.01 MMT previous forecast), with ending stocks at 1.39 MMT, up 33.5% compared to the end of last season.

The Spanish Ag Ministry estimated soft wheat plantings there for the 2015 harvest at 1.85 million ha versus 1.87 million a year ago. Barley plantings are also little changed at 2.78 million ha versus 2.79 million a year ago.

APK Inform released their first estimates for crop production in Ukraine this year, seeing the 2015/16 grain crop down 10% at 57.4 MMT. Plantings will be unchanged overall, but yields are expected to fall 9% due to reduced fertiliser applications as a cost saving measure, they said.

They see wheat production down 2.1% at 23.6 MMT (not too much of a drop due to increased plantings), but barley output will fall 17.8% to 7.44 MMT and corn production will drop 14.7% to 24.3 MMT and growers reduce the area for both by 6% and 8% respectively.

They also predict a 6.8% decline in Ukraine oilseed production this year, with the OSR crop down almost a third to 1.49 MMT. Sunflower output will drop by a more modest 5.5% to 9.57 MMT, and soybean production will increase 4.1% to 4.04 MMT, they said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine's 2014/15 grain exports now stand at 27.3 MMT, including 9.7 MMT of wheat (36%), 13.1 MMT of corn (48%) and 4.3 MMT of barley (16%).

Russia's Ag Minister said that the country won't make a decision on whether to revoke, or indeed extend, the current wheat export duty until the end of May or early June, depending on how things go between now and then.

Rusagrotrans said that the country had exported 1.78 MMT of grains in March, up from 1.24 MMT in February. Wheat accounted for 30% of that volume (534 TMT), barley 41% (734 TMT) and corn 25% (440 TMT), they said. They estimated April exports at 1.2 MMT, comprising around 400 TMT of wheat, 500 TMT of barley and 300 TMT of corn.

The top home for grain exports last month was Saudi Arabia (499 TMT), followed by Turkey (449 TMT) and then Iran in third (205 TMT).




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