At the finish Nov 16 London wheat was GBP2.00/tonne higher at GBP138.35/tonne,
Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR0.75/tonne at EUR163.50/tonne, Nov 16 Paris corn
ended EUR2.75/tonne firmer at EUR164.50/tonne and Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was
EUR5.00/tonne higher at EUR396.25/tonne.
Chicago grains were all sharply higher, which spilled over this side of the
Atlantic. London wheat closed at the highest since the last day of June 2014.
This surprising strength in futures may have caught a few shorts by surprise.
"Part of the support has come from wider European movements on the back
of the ongoing stronger export demand. However, the movements in UK futures
were larger....gains may be linked to the approaching end of the Nov-16 contract,
for which yesterday marked the start of the tender period, the last trading
day is 23 November," noted the HGCA.
Rapeseed futures were sharply higher as US soybean prices surged and held above
key resistance at $10/bushel and Malaysian palm oil prices firmed to the near
two-and-a-half year highs seen at the start of the week.
Concerns remain over the health of EU winter rapeseed plantings for the 2017
harvest, particularly in France, as highlighted by the EU Commission's MARS
unit earlier in the week.
The head of the Russian Grain Union said that this year's total clean weight
grain harvest could be in excess of 116 MMT (versus 104.8 MMT last year), pegging
export potential in 2016/17 at 38-40 MMT.
The Russian Ag Ministry said that harvesting so far was 94.5% complete at 118.9
MMT in bunker weight. That includes 75.8 MMT of wheat (98.1% harvested) and
19.1 MMT of barley (97% harvested). Corn harvesting is ongoing at 8.9 MMT (55.1%
Trade gossip continues to suggest that a higher proportion than usual of this
year's Russian wheat crop is feed only grade. This might slow exports in the
second half of the season if true. It would also increase carryover stocks at
the end of the season.
Russian winter plantings for the 2017 harvest are said to be 95.6% complete
on 16.6 million ha.
The Ukraine state weather centre said that the arrival of colder than normal
temperatures had slowed down, and even halted, the development of winter grains
there. The last figures from the Ag Ministry showed winter wheat planting at
86% complete. Winter barley was only 59% sown as of Oct 25.
At the close Nov 16 London wheat was up GBP1.85/tonne at GBP136.35/tonne, Dec
16 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne firmer at EUR162.75/tonne, Nov 16 Paris corn
was up EUR2.50/tonne at EUR161.75/tonne, Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.25/tonne
easier at EUR391.25/tonne.
The EU Commission's MARS unit lowered their forecast for EU-28 corn yields
from 6.84 MT/ha to 6.82 MT/ha (and versus 6.93 MT/ha for the 5-year average).
"This analysis period was marked by contrasting weather conditions. Among
the outstanding weather phenomena were the persistent dry conditions, which
in France marked the end of a difficult season," they said.
Looking ahead. "these conditions also hampered the sowing of winter cereals
in France, western Germany and the Benelux countries due to overly dry seedbeds,
and negatively impacted emergence. By contrast, heavy rains in the first half
of October are responsible for a marked rain surplus in Poland and southeastern
Europe," they added.
For winter rapeseed specifically they highlighted "mediocre sowing and
emergence conditions in France and Germany."
"Precipitation was clearly below average from mid-August to mid-September
in large parts of France and Germany, the two main EU-28 producers of rapeseed.
As a consequence of the dry conditions, part of the rapeseed was not sown at
all in France," they noted.
Conditions are more "adequate" in Poland, Europe's third largest
producer, in the UK "conditions are rated as being average and rapeseed
is quite well established, but there is currently high pest and disease pressure,"
Egypt's GASC bought 420,000 MT of wheat, their largest single purchase of the
season so far, in their latest tender. They paid an average of $192.62/tonne
C&F for 240,000 MT of Romanian wheat and $193.41/tonne for 180,000 MT of
Despite that, rumblings remain that this year's Russian wheat quality isn't
great, with IKAR today reducing their forecast for the nation's wheat exports
in 2016/17 by 0.5 MMT to 29.5 MMT (still a record).
Their 2016 wheat harvest is said to be 98.1% complete at 75.8 MMT in bunker
weight. Barley harvesting is 97% done at 19.0 MMT and the corn harvest is 52.6%
complete at 8.5 MMT.
Russian winter plantings for the 2017 grain harvest are now more than 95% complete
on 16.5 million ha.
The 2016 Ukraine grain harvest is said to be 86% complete at 52.27 MMT. That
includes 13.28 MMT of corn (54% harvested).
The day ended with Nov 16 London wheat up GBP0.50/tonne at GBP134.50/tonne,
Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne lower at EUR162.00/tonne, Nov 16 corn was
unchanged at EUR159.25/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed finished down EUR0.50/tonne
Rapeseed got early support from Chicago soybeans setting their sights on a
test of the $10/bushel mark - front month Nov 16 hit $9.99 3/4 cents before
easing back into the close.
Fresh news was relatively thin on the ground to start the new week.
Black Sea exports continue at a pace, especially now that the corn harvest
is gathering momentum.
APK Inform reported that Ukraine's seaports shipped out 544 TMT of wheat last
week, along with 143 TMT of barley and 320 TMT of corn. Top home was Egypt (107
TMT) followed by Saudi Arabia and South Korea (63 TMT each).
Ukraine's 2016 harvest is reported to be 85% complete at 51.4 MMT. Corn harvesting
has now reached past halfway (51% done), for a crop of 12.5 MMT so far. The
Ag Ministry forecast final grain production at 63 MMT.
Russia's exports were only slightly less impressive at 441 TMT of wheat, 16
TMT of barley and 183 TMT of corn. Trade talk remains that despite bringing
in a record wheat harvest this year, the quality of the crop isn't great, which
may reflect in a tail-off in exports in the second half of the season. It would
also be bearish for EU feed wheat exports.
Russia's exports to date are 11.8 MMT, down 4% on 12.3 MMT a year ago. That
includes 9.68 MMT of wheat, 1.35 MMT of barley and 717 TMT of corn.
Egypt's GASC announced a late tender for wheat for Dec 1-10 shipment. Russia
and Romania have been the most successful bidders lately. Results are expected
late tomorrow afternoon.
Lanworth forecast a colder than normal US winter, with widespread cold 2-4F
below normal across the Central US, However, above normal snowfall should mitigate
any wheat losses due to winterkill, they said.
At the finish Nov 16 London wheat was GBP0.20/tonne higher at GBP134.00/tonne,
Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR0.50/tonne at EUR163.00/tonne, Nov 16 Paris corn
also ended EUR0.50/tonne firmer at EUR159.25/tonne and Nov 16 Paris rapeseed
was EUR1.25/tonne higher at EUR394.00/tonne.
For the week that puts London wheat GBP0.30/tonne lower (breaking a prior weekly
winning run of five), with Paris wheat and corn EUR0.25/tonne easier and rapeseed
Brussels said that they'd only issued 209 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences
this past week, a pretty dismal total. Still, season to date exports are now
7.51 MMT, a 16% increase over last year, although that rate of rise is slowing.
"Wheat export pace over the remainder of the season will be expected to
slow if the EU Commission’s end of season forecast of 25 MMT is to be
realised," said the HGCA.
"With lower levels of exports from the EU likely to be a key feature for
global trade this season the door is open for other key exporters to increase
their share of the market," they added
Only 64 TMT worth of EU barley exports were approved this week, taking the
cumulative total to 1.28 MMT, a 69% fall year-on-year.
FranceAgriMer said that winter wheat planting across the Channel is 43% complete,
up from only 23% done a week ago but still lagging 52% this time last year.
Barley planting is 61% complete (39% last week and 73% a year ago). Corn harvesting
is seen at 39% done versus 23% last week and 52% in 2015. Final 2016 corn production
is estimated 6.6% down at 12.2 MMT.
Ukraine said that they'd harvested 83% of this year's grain crop, bringing
in 49.87 MMT so far. Corn harvesting is 45% complete at 10.92 MMT. Plantings
for the 2017 harvest are 77% done, with 82% of next year's winter wheat crop
now in, along with 43% of the government's projected barley area.
Ukraine's total grain exports so far this season stand at 12.44 MMT, including
7.82 MMT of wheat, 1.14 MMT of corn and 3.43 MMT of barley.
Russia said that their 2016 harvest is 93.9% complete at 117.5 MMT. That includes
98% of this year's wheat (75.7 MMT) and 96.9% of this year's barley (19.0 MMT).
Corn harvesting is 48.3% done at 7.7 MMT. Winter planting for the 2017 harvest
is said to be 93.2% complete on 16.2 million ha (versus 15.5 million ha this
time a year ago).
At the close Nov 16 London wheat was down GBP0.20/tonne at GBP133.80/tonne,
Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR0.25/tonne lower at EUR162.50onne, Nov 16 Paris corn
was unchanged at EUR159.25/tonne, Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was EUR1.00/tonne easier
French analysts Strategie Grains lowered their forecast for the EU-28 soft
wheat crop, coming up with a figure of 135.8 MMT, down 600,000 MT on a month
ago and 10% below last year. This included downwards assessments for output
in France, Great Britain, Austria, Estonia, Poland and Denmark.
They also reduced their ideas on exports for 2016/17 by 300,000 MT to 23.4
MMT, a 28% decline year-on-year.
Barley production was lowered 200,000 MT from a month ago to 59.7 MMT, but
corn output was raised by 500,000 MT to 59.8 MMT.
In their first forecast for plantings for the 2017 harvest they said that they
expected little change to winter wheat or barley sowings.
India continues to purchase foreign wheat after a disappointing quality harvest
this year, and miller dissatisfaction with the standard of government owned
wheat that is in storage. Indian buyers were reported to have booked 100,000
MT of Australian wheat today. Ukraine has been the other main beneficiary of
this new pick up in demand.
The USDA's FAS in Moscow raised their forecast for this year's Russian harvest
to a clean weight 114.5 TMT - a post Soviet era record. They have wheat output
at 72 MMT, barley production at 17.7 MMT and a corn crop of 13.0 MMT.
Total grain exports were increased by 1 MMT to 38 MMT, including 29 MMT of
wheat and 4 MMT of barley.
The Russian government said that the country has harvested 117 MMT of grains
in bunker weight, including 75.7 MMT of wheat. The wheat harvest is said to
be 98% complete.
Russian plantings for the 2017 harvest are said to now be complete on 16.0
million ha, or 92.1% of the government target.
The day ended with Nov 16 London wheat down GBP1.25/tonne at
GBP134.00/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne lower at EUR162.75/tonne,
Nov 16 corn was unchanged at EUR159.25/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed was up EUR1.75/tonne
to EUR393.75tonne - a new highest front month close since July 2015.
Rapeseed is seemingly setting it's sights on a test of EUR400/tonne,
a level it hasn't closed above since April 2014.
A report on Reuters suggested that the French rapeseed area
might fall 7% this year, Oil World estimate a 5-10% decline. Using even the
lowest (5%) figure would represent the smallest area since 2012, say the HGCA.
The harvested area could be much lower considering the reports
around of poor emergence in newly planted winter OSR.
The Reuters report estimates German rapeseed plantings unchanged
and the UK area at the lowest in 7 years - 579k ha. Similar comments re emergence/establishment
apply here too.
"Furthermore, the dry weather has caused weaker crop conditions
in many parts of France, western Germany and Poland. This could put the plants
at risk from frost and pest damage," said the HGCA.
FranceAgriMer said that French soft wheat exports to non-EU
destinations are down by a third for the first three months of the new season
(Jul/Sep) following quality (and volume) problems with their crop this year.
Exports to top home Algeria are 30% lower. Total export potential in 2016/17
is only forecast at 11.1 MMT versus 20.4 MMT a year ago, of which non-EU homes
will take just 4.7 MMT compared to 12.6 MMT in 2015/16.
Ukraine said that their 2016 grain harvest is 82% done at 48.7
MMT. Corn harvesting is 41% complete at 9.85 MMT. Winter grains have been planted
on 5.42 million ha (74% of plan), down 322k ha on a year ago. Dryness remains
an issue for emergence. Winter wheat plantings are 79% complete at 4.89m ha,
winter OSR sowings (769k ha) are finished.
Russia said that it's grain harvest was 93.4% complete at 116.3
MMT. Wheat accounts for 75.6 MMT of that (97.9% complete). Corn harvesting is
42.9% done at 6.8 MMT. Winter planting works are finished on 15.7 million ha,
or 90.2% of plan. Dryness in the European part of Russia is also a problem for
Jordan were said to have bought 50,000 MT of optional origin
feed barley at $180.90/tonne C&F for March shipment in a tender.
Egypt's GASC are back in the market for wheat, tendering for
Nov 21-30 shipment with the results expected tomorrow. Romania and Russia won
last week's business.
At the finish Nov 16 London wheat was GBP0.75/tonne weaker at GBP135.25/tonne,
Dec 16 Paris wheat was down EUR0.50/tonne at EUR163.75/tonne, Nov 16 Paris corn
ended EUR0.50/tonne firmer at EUR159.25/tonne and Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was
EUR0.50/tonne higher at EUR392.00/tonne.
Strong rapeseed oil prices support the Paris rapeseed market, which has now
closed higher for 10 sessions on the trot.
Looking ahead, emergence of newly planted winter rapeseed crops for the 2017
harvest is also a serious issue.
"In UK terms, the weaker sterling is adding further support. At current
levels, in sterling terms nearby Paris rapeseed futures are at a more than three-year
high of £354.25/tonne," said the HGCA.
Sterling was higher today, causing a minor reversal in the fortunes of London
wheat, following the news that UK inflation rose 1% on September, up from 0.6%
in August and above analysts forecasts of a 0.9% increase.
The USDA's FAS in Europe lowered their estimate for this year's EU-28 corn
crop to 60 MMT (the USDA themselves are at 60.3 MMT), although that's still
up a little on 58 MMT a year ago.
They now see the EU-28 all wheat crop at 144.5 MMT versus 160 MMT a year ago.
Exports were forecast at 26 MMT (down from 35 MMT) and ending stocks at 10.3
MMT (down from 13.8 MMT)
This year's wheat production shortfall comes primarily from France (-13 MMT
year-on-year), Germany (-2.5 MMT) and the UK (-2.0 MMT).
Russia said that they'd exported 11.2 MMT of grains so far this season, a 5%
decline on a year ago. That included 9.24 MMT of wheat (82.5% of the grain total),
1.33 MMT of barley and 577 TMT of corn.
The USDA's FAS released updated crop production forecasts for Ukraine, pegging
this year's wheat harvest at 26.6 MMT versus 27.3 MMT a year ago. Barley output
is seen at 9.9 MMT (8.8 MMT in 2015) and that of corn at 26.0 MMT (23.3 MMT).
Ukraine's wheat exports are forecast at 14.2 MMT (17.4 MMT), with those of
barley at 5.3 MMT (4.4 MMT) and corn at 18 MMT (16.9 MMT)
The top home for Ukraine wheat is forecast to be Egypt, accounting for a 15.6%
market share followed by Thailand (13%). Europe are seen accounting for 12%
of total foreign wheat sales.
As far as barley goes, Saudi Arabia will take more than half (52.8%) of all
At the close Nov 16 London wheat was up GBP1.70/tonne at GBP136.00/tonne, Dec
16 Paris wheat was EUR0.50/tonne higher to EUR164.25/tonne, Nov 16 Paris corn
was EUR0.75/tonne easier at EUR158.75/tonne, Nov 16 Paris rapeseed was EUR3.00/tonne
higher at EUR391.50/tonne.
For rapeseed this was the highest front month close since July 2015 on lower
EU production, firmer palm oil markets and a stalled Canadian harvest due to
Anecdotal reports from the UK suggest a failure of emergence in winter rapeseed
sown for the 2017 harvest, with crops already being ripped up and replanted
in some cases.
The NFU already warned last week that plantings for 2017 could be reduced again
this year due to the neonicotinoid ban and general producer dissatisfaction
with growing the crop. Yields were particularly disappointing this year you
Meanwhile, London wheat did even better, closing at the best levels on a front
month since Dec 2014 on the outlook for continued sterling weakness. That's
what the Sunday papers' financial sections were full of, and if they are to
be believed then parity with the euro is little more than a formality in the
There's some decent wheat demand out there too. With Saudi Arabia apparently
booking 610 TMT of mainly German, Polish and Latvian 12.5% hard wheat for Dec/Jan
delivery in their latest tender.
Algeria were said to have booked 480 TMT of optional origin wheat too, the
majority of which is expected to be EU material. So EU exports aren't slowing
up too appreciably just yet.
Note that whilst EU soft wheat exports are currently 17% up on year ago levels,
the USDA predicts them to fall 28% year-on-year. If they don't, then ending
stocks would tighten further from the already forecast 25% to 10.5 MMT.
In other news, Kazakhstan said that their harvest was 99.5% done at 23.44 MMT
(versus 20 MMT a year ago) in bunker weight.
APK Inform said that Ukraine;s seaports exported 506 TMT of grains last week,
down from 549.9 TMT the previous week, including 244.1 TMT of wheat, 135.4 TMT
of barley and 126.5 TMT of corn.
Russian seaports shipped out 637.4 TMT of grains, up from only 325.9 TMT the
previous week. That included 526.8 TMT of wheat, 3 TMT of barley and 101.5 TMT
The day ended with Nov 16 London wheat up GBP2.20/tonne at GBP134.30/tonne,
Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR2.50/tonne at EUR163.25/tonne, Nov 16 corn was
up EUR1.25/tonne at EUR159.50/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed was up EUR2.25/tonne
to EUR388.50/tonne - the highest front month close since July 2015.
Sterling weakness continues to come to the rescue of London wheat, but strength
in US futures has also started to come into play recently. Chicago wheat is
up 17% since the last day of August.
EU wheat exports are running ahead of last year, up 17% at a cumulative 7.3
MMT so far this season, despite a poor showing from from France. They picked
up only 41 TMT worth of this week's 526 TMT of soft wheat export licences awarded
Romanian wheat picked up the lion's share (120 TMT) in this week's Egyptian
tender, with Russia winning a further 60 TMT worth.
Rapeseed prices also continue to gain on reduced EU availability (production
down 10% this year at 20 MT according to the USDA), steady palm oil prices and
wet weather harvest disruptions in Canada.
Regular EU supplier Ukraine also has a much smaller rapeseed crop this year
due to sharply reduced plantings last autumn.
Looking ahead, FranceAgriMer estimated French winter wheat plantings at only
23% complete versus 34% done a year ago. Winter barley is 39% sown against 54%
a year ago.
The French 2016 corn harvest is estimated at 23% done, ten points down on this
time in 2015. Crop conditions were unchanged at 53% good to very good versus
56% a year ago.
As well as Egyptian buying this week, Algeria have been in the market, reportedly
booking 450-500 TMT of optional origin wheat in a tender for 50 TMT. Saudi Arabia
are also said to have purchased 595,000 MT of wheat of HRW quality that could
be sourced from Germany, according to Agritel.
Whilst EU soft wheat exports are 17% up on year ago levels, note that the USDA
currently predicts them to fall 28% year-on-year. If they don't, then ending
stocks would tighten further from the already forecast 25% to 10.5 MMT.
Meanwhile the Russian harvest rumbles on towards the expected post-Soviet era
record, with 93% of the combinable area collected so far producing a crop of
115.4 MMT in bunker weight. Wheat harvesting is said to be 97.8% complete at
75.6 MMT and growers there have also brought in 96.9% of barley for a crop of
19.0 MMT so far. Corn harvesting is said to be 39% complete at 6.1 MMT.
Rusagrotrans said that the volume of Russian wheat making 3rd and 4th grade
milling standard this year will be 56.4 MMT versus 49.5 MMT a year ago.
At the finish Nov 16 London wheat was GBP0.85/tonne higher at GBP132.10/tonne,
within less than a pound of the best close on a front month since the beginning
of January 2015. Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR1.75/tonne at EUR161.25/tonne,
Nov 16 Paris corn ended EUR0.75/tonne firmer at EUR158.25/tonne and Nov 16 Paris
rapeseed was EUR2.75/tonne higher at EUR386.25/tonne - the highest close for
a front month since Aug 2015.
At home Defra estimated the UK rapeseed crop at 1.77 MMT, down 30% on 2.54
MMT a year ago. This was due to a combination of reduced plantings and lower
The NFU are even more bearish on production at just 1.7 MMT, a 32.5% decline
on a year ago. They said that the harvested area had now dropped for 5 years
in a row, and may do the same again in 2017.
The NFU are also more bearish than Defra on wheat production (14.2 MMT vs 14.47
MMT from the Ministry) and barley output (6.6 MMT vs 6.65 MMT).
This season's rapeseed shortage has "has encouraged UK prices to move
to a premium to, rather than a discount to, European prices," the HGCA
"Moving from a net export to a net import position has implications for
both UK prices relative to elsewhere in Europe, and for regional prices within
the UK (especially for Scottish values relative to English). The former situation
is also complicated (and magnified) on the wider scale by the tight EU picture
as a whole this year, increasing the need to import from Ukraine, Canada and/or
Australia," they said.
This isn't the case for wheat just yet, where the latest figures from Defra
show that the balance of wheat availability and domestic consumption this season
is 2.75 MMT in the UK in 2016/17, even if this is down more than 50% on a year
ago. The UK has however exported 457 TMT of wheat in the first two months of
the marketing year, suggesting that home produced supplies could also tighten
considerably as the season progresses.
Does this mean that prices are a certainty to move higher? Not necessarily,
much of that depends on where the pound is going to go versus the US dollar
and euro for the rest of the season. Whilst spec money is lining up to punt
the pound from the short side, to me it already looks oversold and ripe for
some upside correction.
Short-term though the sterling bears seem to have to momentum in their favour
though, making further London wheat appreciation seem likely before we hit any
Across the Channel FranceAgriMer lowered their forecast for the French wheat
crop by 0.5 MMT to just 28.0 MMT this year, a 31.5% slump compared to 2015.
French exports to non-EU countries were estimated at 6.4 MMT (versus 6.6 MMT
previously and 12.6 MMT last season). Exports within the EU were seen at 4.7
MMT (unchanged from last month but down from 7.8 MMT in 2015/16).
They also lowered their estimates for French barley and corn exports this season.
Saudi Arabia tendered for 595 TMT of optional origin hard wheat for Dec/Jan
shipment. Jordan were said to have bought 100 TMT of optional origin hard wheat.
Egypt's GASC are back in the market tendering for wheat for 11-20 November