EU Reports
30-09-2014 08:49 AM | EU Reports
29/09/14 -- EU grains closed mostly higher in what looks like month-end and quarter-end consolidation and profit-taking.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat up GBP1.05/tonne to GBP108.70/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR1.75/tonne higher at EUR153.75/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was up EUR1.25/tonne to EUR138.50/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.00/tonne firmer at EUR317.0/tonne.

Fresh news was relatively scarce. The Russian 2014 grain harvest is closing in on the 100 MMT mark at 96.1 MMT off 81.4% of the planned area. Wheat accounts for 57.8 MMT of that total off 83.2% of the anticipated harvest area. Barley adds a further 20.3 MMT off almost 90% of plan, with corn adding an additional 4.3 MMT off almost 32% of plan.

Russia Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 3.0 MMT of grain between Sept 1st – Sept 24th. That takes Russia's exports so far this season to 10.7 MMT, up 26.6% from a year ago.

SovEcon estimated Russia’s September grain exports at 3.5-3.7 MMT.

The Kazakh harvest meanwhile will total 17 MMT, with 2014/15 exports at 7 MMT, according to their Ag Ministry. Yields are lower, but quality is better than last year, they added.

Ukraine's 2014 harvest is now 75% done at 41.1 MMT, said the Ag Ministry there. The wheat and barley harvests are finished at 24.4 MMT and 9.3 MMT respectively. They've also cut 5 MMT of corn so far.

Only 56% of the 2014 Ukraine wheat harvest is suitable for milling, the Ministry added. That's down from 69% a year ago.

Winter wheat planting in Ukraine is almost at the halfway point at 3 million ha of the intended 6.2 million ha (up slightly from 6.1 million ha a year ago), they said.

The IGC said late last week that the world will harvest the largest wheat area since 1998 next year at 224 million ha, up from 222.7 million in 2014.

Oman are tendering for 60,000 MT of German or Russian wheat for Jan shipment.

30-09-2014 08:49 AM | EU Reports
29/09/14 -- EU grains closed mostly higher in what looks like month-end and quarter-end consolidation and profit-taking.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat up GBP1.05/tonne to GBP108.70/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR1.75/tonne higher at EUR153.75/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was up EUR1.25/tonne to EUR138.50/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.00/tonne firmer at EUR317.0/tonne.

Fresh news was relatively scarce. The Russian 2014 grain harvest is closing in on the 100 MMT mark at 96.1 MMT off 81.4% of the planned area. Wheat accounts for 57.8 MMT of that total off 83.2% of the anticipated harvest area. Barley adds a further 20.3 MMT off almost 90% of plan, with corn adding an additional 4.3 MMT off almost 32% of plan.

Russia Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 3.0 MMT of grain between Sept 1st – Sept 24th. That takes Russia's exports so far this season to 10.7 MMT, up 26.6% from a year ago.

SovEcon estimated Russia’s September grain exports at 3.5-3.7 MMT.

The Kazakh harvest meanwhile will total 17 MMT, with 2014/15 exports at 7 MMT, according to their Ag Ministry. Yields are lower, but quality is better than last year, they added.

Ukraine's 2014 harvest is now 75% done at 41.1 MMT, said the Ag Ministry there. The wheat and barley harvests are finished at 24.4 MMT and 9.3 MMT respectively. They've also cut 5 MMT of corn so far.

Only 56% of the 2014 Ukraine wheat harvest is suitable for milling, the Ministry added. That's down from 69% a year ago.

Winter wheat planting in Ukraine is almost at the halfway point at 3 million ha of the intended 6.2 million ha (up slightly from 6.1 million ha a year ago), they said.

The IGC said late last week that the world will harvest the largest wheat area since 1998 next year at 224 million ha, up from 222.7 million in 2014.

Oman are tendering for 60,000 MT of German or Russian wheat for Jan shipment.

27-09-2014 08:49 AM | EU Reports
26/09/14 -- EU grains closed mixed, with London wheat slumping to fresh more than 4-year lows on the abundant supply of feed wheat in Europe, combined with the arrival of the impending record large EU and world corn crop.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP1.40/tonne to GBP107.65/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR1.25/tonne higher at EUR152.00/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was up EUR1.25/tonne to EUR137.25/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR1.50/tonne easier at EUR315.50/tonne.

For the week that puts London wheat down GBP3.90/tonne, with Paris wheat falling a more modest EUR1.50/tonne. Corn was actually 25 euro cents higher and rapeseed fell EUR1.75/tonne.

A weaker euro this week also weighed on London wheat and supported the Paris grains a little.

Strong demand for milling wheat is evidenced by the fact that Brussels have so far this season issued soft wheat export licences for 6.4 MMT versus 6.2 MMT a year ago. Recall that the USDA currently expects EU wheat exports to fall more than 18% this year versus 2013/14. Note also that Europe has managed to achieve these sales in the face of very strong early season competition from the Black Sea, especially Russia. Their aggressiveness is expected to wane somewhat as the season progresses.

Russian wheat prices have fallen this week, in reaction to missing out on both of Egypt's tenders, with 12.5% milling wheat offers from the deep water Black Sea ports down to around $234/tonne, which is down $10/tonne versus a week ago.

The 2014 Russian grain harvest now stands at 94 MMT, off almost 79% of the planned area. Wheat accounts for 56.5 MMT of that total (off 80%) and barley a further 20.1 MMT (88%), according to the Ag Ministry. They also say that Russian growers have already seeded 10.6 million ha of land with winter crops for next year's harvest. That's 64% of the planned area, and a sharp rise on 7.4 million this time a year ago.

FranceAgriMer said that the French corn harvest is now underway, albeit at only 1% complete as of Monday. They left crop conditions unchanged (in a manner of speaking) at 86% good to very good, which is 30 points ahead of last season. The finer detail shows a shift of two points out of good into very good.

Corn crops all over Europe, including those here in the UK, continue to look splendid and hugely better than they did a year ago. ADM Germany, formerly Toepfer, estimated the EU-28 corn for grain crop at a record 70.46 MMT, a 9.3% rise on last year's 64.48 MMT. Some feel that it's the impending size of this crop that could prove to be the final nail in the coffin for feed wheat prices.

Ukraine corn prices are now said to be down to $160/tonne FOB the Black Sea (around GBP98.50/tonne), which is $10/tonne lower than a week ago. French corn values are said to be around EUR132/tonne FOB Bordeaux (around GBP103/tonne).

A duty free barley export quota which still has around 230,000 MT open on it, granted to Ukraine, which is scheduled to expire on Oct 31 will be extended until the end of the year, Brussels has said. Ukraine's duty free wheat and corn export quota to EU destinations has already been filled. There's talk that a new preferential quota could be granted to Ukraine for corn exports beginning Jan 1.

At home, the HGCA reported preliminary results for the quality of the 2014 UK milling wheat harvest at 11.3% protein, 77.3 kg/hl bushel weight and 311 hagberg. The average nitrogen content of barley is the lowest since records began in 1977 at 1.53%, they added.

25-09-2014 17:59 PM | EU Reports
25/09/14 -- EU grains closed mixed, with London wheat falling to fresh lows.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP0.45/tonne at GBP109.05/tonne, and Nov 14 Paris wheat closing down EUR2.00/tonne to EUR150.75/tonne. Nov 14 Paris corn was up EUR1.50/tonne to EUR136.00/tonne and Nov 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.25/tonne to EUR317.00/tonne.

The International Grains Council again raised their forecast for by world grain production by 8 MMT to 1,983 MMT, now only 10 MMT lower than last year’s record. Wheat production is now seen at an all-time high 717 MMT, up 4 MMT from last month and last year.

"World total grains consumption is projected to grow by 2% year-on-year, with much of the increase for animal feed, particularly corn. However, strong competition is expected from heavy supplies of alternative feeds, including weather-damaged wheat," they said.

UkrAgroConsult said that they were "preparing to lower by 1.1 MMT to 57.4 MMT its forecast for the Ukraine grains harvest," according to Agrimoney.com. The reduction is due to lower corn production, now pegged at 25.9 MMT, although that's still the second highest on record.

"In our opinion, some 25% of corn plantings in Donetsk region and some 30% in Luhansk region have been damaged by the warfare and are unsuitable for harvesting," they said.

Looking ahead to winter plantings in the region. MDA CropCast said that "rains increased across central and eastern Ukraine, Belarus, southwestern Central Region, and western North Caucasus this past week, which significantly improved moisture for winter wheat establishment. Additional improvements are expected in Volga Valley and south central North Caucasus this week. However, some dryness will likely linger in far northern North Caucasus and northwestern Ukraine."

Russia said that it had now harvested 93 MMT of grains off 77.4% of the planned area. The wheat harvest is now up to 56 MMT in bunker weight, and the barley crop stands at 19.9 MMT. Corn production is 3.9 MMT off 29% of the planned area.

Winter grain planting is now complete on 10.5 million ha, or 63.5% of plan, they added.

Ukraine said that it had now harvested over 40 MT of grains off 73% of the planned area. The corn harvest is 19% complete at nearly 4 MMT, they said.

Brussels confirmed that they'd issued 613 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the marketing year to date total to 6.4 MMT versus 6.2 MMT a year ago.

EU corn import licences now stand at 2.3 MMT versus 959 TMT a year ago.

25-09-2014 08:59 AM | EU Reports
24/09/14 -- EU grains closed mixed. The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP0.25/tonne to GBP109.50/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR2.50/tonne higher at EUR152.75/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was up EUR3.25/tonne to EUR134.50/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR3.50/tonne firmer at EUR314.75/tonne.

Paris grains were supported by the week euro. One pound tonight buys you almost 1.28 euros, the best return since July 2012.

FranceAgriMer said that only 46% of the French wheat crop has a hagberg falling number of 220 or more versus 99% a year ago. More than a quarter of the crop (27%) has hagberg levels below 140, and 19% of it has a falling number between 170-220.

They said that 17 MMT, or 45%, of this year's crop is only "third grade" (essentially feed wheat). A year ago that volume was only 4.3 MMT (11.7%).

They added that the average protein level of French wheat this year was 11.1%, with an average specific weight of 76.3 kg/hl.

Ukraine's Ag Minister said that this year's grain crop would total 60 MMT versus last season's record 63 MMT. The total doesn't include Crimea, or production in parts of the war-torn Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Recent heavy rains have slowed up the pace of winter plantings in Ukraine, with 2.3 million ha of the intended 6 million ha sown so far.

The rains have improved soil moisture conditions, although they also mean that some corn is being cut at 25% moisture, adding drying costs that the Ukraine farmer can ill afford. Ukraine corn prices FOB the Black Sea have now tumbled to just $161/tonne.

The Russian harvest now stands at 92.4 MMT off 76.5% of the intended area. Wheat accounts for 55.5 MMT of that total off 77.2% of plan.

Winter planting progress in Russia has been brisk, with 10.4 million ha (63%) of the planned 16 million ha already sown versus 7.3 million ha a year ago.

Russian exports are showing signs of slowing up. Rusagrotrans said that Russia's grain exports in October would fall to around 3 MMT from 3.8 MMT this month. Russia shipped out a record 7.9 MMT of grains in the first two months (Jul/Aug) of the marketing year.

Russia will begin its intervention purchase programme next week (Sept 30), adding a bit more domestic demand, which is already strong due to increased livestock feeding due to retaliatory Russian sanctions against EU and US meat imports.

Ukraine has also been exporting at a frenetic pace despite the conflict in the country. Jul 1 - Sep 18 exports were 7.6 MMT, a 19% increase versus a year ago. That included 2.7 MMT of barley, more than the entire volume shipped in 2013/14 and 200 TMT more than the USDA's forecast for the whole of this season.

Kazakhstan's harvest is said to be 60% complete, which is 7 points behind last year's pace.

23-09-2014 19:19 PM | EU Reports
23/09/14 -- EU grains closed mostly lower again, with yet more new 50-month closing lows set in London and Paris wheat and Paris corn. It's unclear if we are now at the panic or capitulation stage.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP0.75/tonne to GBP109.75/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR1.00/tonne lower at EUR150.25/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR3.00/tonne to EUR131.25/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR0.75/tonne firmer at EUR311.25/tonne.

The EU Commission's MARS unit raised their forecast for EU average soft wheat yields from 5.85 MT/ha to 5.88 MT/ha, along with upping their corn yield estimate from 7.53 MT/ha to 7.59 MT/ha.

They also forecast EU corn and rapeseed yields unchanged from last month at 7.53 MT/ha and 3.33 MT/ha respectively.

For the UK specifically they pegged wheat yields at 8.24 MT/ha, with those for barley at 5.81 MT/ha and rapeseed at 3.81 MT/ha.

Ukraine said that they'd harvested 39.6 MMT of grains so far off 72% of the planned area. This year's corn harvest is 17% complete at 3.43 MMT, they said.

They also said that they'd now planted over 2m ha of winter grains, around 27% of the planned area, including 1.94k ha of winter wheat (31% of plan). Recent heavy rains are now disrupting the late corn harvest and also plantings for 2015, although they will be helping what has been sown already.

The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 7.4 MMT of grains so far this year, including 4.3 MMT of wheat, 2.6 MMT of barley and 400 TMT of corn.

APK Inform said that only 56% of this year's Ukraine wheat crop would make milling standard versus 69% a year ago.

Russia said that they'd now harvested 91.9 MMT of grains off 76% of the planned area. That total includes 55.2 MMT of wheat, 19.8 MMT of barley and 3.8 MMT of corn. They also said that winter grain planting was now complete on 10.2 million ha, or 62% of the plan, and up sharply from only 7 million ha a year ago.

The Russian Ag Ministry also said that they will begin purchasing "up to 5 MMT" of intervention grains starting on Sep 30.

Kazakhstan said that they'd now harvested 9.5 MMT of grains off 58% of the planned area.

The EU have announced that they are to raise the import duty on corn shipped in from outside the trade bloc from EUR5.32/tonne to EUR10.44/tonne. It's unclear yet whether Ukraine will be given a preferential duty free quota as they have been in 2013/14.

Oil World estimated the 2014/15 global rapeseed production at 67.5 MMT versus a previous estimate of 68.7 MMT and the 2013/14 crop of 70.0 MMT.

Tunisia's Ag Ministry forecast their 2014 grain crop at 2.34 MMT versus only 1.3 MMT a year ago.

23-09-2014 08:59 AM | EU Reports
22/09/14 -- EU grains crashed to fresh lows with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP1.05/tonne at GBP110.50/tonne, and Nov 14 Paris wheat closing down EUR2.25/tonne to EUR151.25/tonne. Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR2.75/tonne to EUR134.25/tonne and Nov 14 Paris rapeseed slumped EUR7.75/tonne to EUR310.50/tonne.

Both London and Paris wheat fell below support at GBP110/tonne and EUR150/tonne, before eventually clawing their way back up above those levels at the close. It remains to be seen if they can manage to stay there for the remainder of the week.

Of the main four grains only Paris rapeseed didn't set a fresh more than 4-year low for a front month, and that only managed to do so by EUR1.50/tonne.

Egypt's GASC bought one cargo of US wheat in a weekend tender, with French, Russian and Romanian wheat all out-priced. There was perhaps a mixture of surprise and disappointment that French wheat didn't figure

The Paris wheat contract also remains under pressure as the market questions its legitimacy to command such a premium over feed wheat given the poor quality of this year's French crop and the fact than wheat with a hagberg level as low as 170 is still deliverable against the contract.

At least it is deliverable in theory. One of the two delivery points in Rouen is already full. Open interest in the Nov 14 contract is the equivalent of around 7 MMT.

Russia said that it had harvested 90.8 MMT of grain with 25% of the crop still to be cut. That total includes 54.8 MMT of wheat, leaving them on target to achieve a final output in excess of 60 MMT after cleaning and screening, even allowing for lower yields from Siberia and the Urals region.

Russia’s Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 9.9 MMT of grain between July 1st and Sept 17th, a rise of 26% from a year ago. That total includes 8.6 MMT of wheat.

Russia's competitive edge now seems to have eroded though, judged on recent GASC tenders. Europe and the US are now playing catch-up it would seem, with both needed to make room for their impending record large corn crops.

Heavy rain is now stalling what's left of the Russian grain harvest, although it will be a welcome boost for newly planted winter grains. That crop, for the 2015 harvest, is already 60% sown on 9.9 million hectares.

The Kazakh harvest meanwhile is 58% complete at 9.5 MMT. The Ag Ministry there forecast a final 2014 harvest of 14-15 MMT, down from 18.2 MMT a year ago, with exports seen at 8.6 MMT.

20-09-2014 10:29 AM | EU Reports
19/09/14 -- EU grains closed lower across the board, with London and Paris wheat sliding to levels not seen since July 2010, and corn to its worst since June of that year.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP1.45/tonne to GBP111.55/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR5.50/tonne lower at EUR153.50/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR2.75/tonne to EUR137.00/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR4.75/tonne easier at EUR318.25/tonne.

For the week that puts Nov 14 London wheat down a relatively modest GBP1.10/tonne compared to the EUR9.25/tonne loss suffered by Nov 14 Paris wheat. Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR3.25/tonne versus last Friday, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.75/tonne easier.

The pound rose to 1.28 against the euro following the announcement that Scotland had voted 55:45 in favour of staying in the Union, although it gave up all of those gains later in the day, it was still higher for the week.

Paris wheat simply took a pasting, although it's difficult to put a specific reason to why, even if Chicago wheat also crashed to 4-year lows of it's own. Maybe the recent furore over the vague and variable nature of the contract quality requirements had something to do with it. Why should what is little better than feed wheat command such a premium as it recently has? Maybe some are aiming to simply make delivery of lower grade wheat (the supply of which far outstrips demand anywhere else) against the contract - assuming that there is actually some room in the silos of Rouen by then. If there isn't, then nobody really knows what will happen.

A month ago Paris wheat was commanding an EUR21.50/tonne premium to London feed wheat, tonight that differential has fallen to EUR12/tonne.

Or perhaps it was simply the realisation that much of this French wheat simply has to be sold, regardless of what price can be achieved for it (as with this week's GASC tender), to make room for the impending record large corn crop that's about to start coming in?

Late in the afternoon FranceAgriMer said that harvesting of that hadn't started as of Monday. They did however increase the proportion of the crop rated good to very good by one percentage point from a week ago to a large looking 86% versus only 55% this time last year.

There's a similar situation brewing in the States, with words like "phenomenal" and "bewildering" and "stellar" being used to describe early US corn and soybean yields.

The oft asked "how low can it go" question is still doing the rounds. In the case of Chicago corn some are now suggesting that a fall below $3/bu could be on the cards before too long. The next support level for London wheat is GBP110/tonne, and if that breaks then we are then looking at GBP100/tonne.

Meanwhile the 6 week long "sideways" pattern that existed in Paris wheat, as support at EUR170/tonne held, already seems like a distant memory. The market has quickly plunged a further EUR16.50/tonne, almost 10%, since that level was first breached just 10 days ago.

The Russian grain harvest rumbles on, if something that big can rumble. That now stands at 88.6 MMT off 72.6% of plan, with average yields up 17.5% at 2.62 MT/ha. Wheat currently accounts for 53.8 MMT of that total, off 73.2% of plan. Barley adds a further 19.6 MMT, off 85.3%, and corn 2.8 MMT, off 20.7%.

Winter plantings in Russia for the 2015 harvest are already well advanced, at 56.2% complete on 9.3 million hectares, up from only 5.6 million ha a year ago at this time. Note though that has been sown has largely gone into dry seed beds, especially in the Southern District. That sadly is only a very small crumb of comfort to the bulls. The forecast for the region is much wetter than normal across the next 15 days.

Ukraine meanwhile has now harvested 12% of it's planned 2014 corn area, producing a crop of 2.4 MMT to date. If this is marketed in the same desperate manner as they have been doing with wheat, barley and rapeseed (and it probably will be), then that doesn't bode well for prices in the coming months - especially with a record large EU crop also on the way.

The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 7.2 MMT of grain so far this season, including 4.12 MMT of wheat and 2.55 MMT of barley. The latter figure now surpasses the USDA forecast for the entire season after just 2 1/2 months of it.

Brussels said that they'd issued 505 TMT of soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the season to date total to 5.8 MMT. That's 100 TMT more than at this time last year, which is good, even if prices have needed to be cut to get the sales away. Don't forget that the USDA currently expects EU wheat exports to fall more than 18% this year versus 2013/14.

On the flip side of the coin, cumulative EU corn import licences have now been granted for 2.1 MMT, more than double the 911 TMT issued this time last season.

UK customs data released yesterday showed that the UK imported over 194 TMT of wheat and more than 100 TMT of corn in July - the first month of the new marketing year.

20-09-2014 10:19 AM | EU Reports
19/09/14 -- EU grains closed lower across the board, with London and Paris wheat sliding to levels not seem since July 2010, and corn to its worst since June of that year.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP1.45/tonne to GBP111.55/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR5.50/tonne lower at EUR153.50/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR2.75/tonne to EUR137.00/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR4.75/tonne easier at EUR318.25/tonne.

For the week that puts Nov 14 London wheat down a relatively modest GBP1.10/tonne compared to the EUR9.25/tonne loss suffered by Nov 14 Paris, Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR3.25/tonne versus last Friday, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.75/tonne easier.

The pound rose to 1.28 against the euro following the announcement that Scotland had voted 55:45 in favour of staying in the Union, although gave up all of those gains later in the day.

Paris wheat simply took a pasting, although it's difficult to put a specific reason to why, even if Chicago wheat also crashed to 4-year lows of it's own. Maybe the recent furore over the vague and variable nature of the contract quality requirements had something to do with it. Why should what is little better than feed wheat command such a premium as it recently has? Maybe some are aiming to simply make delivery of lower grade wheat (the supply of which far outstrips demand anywhere else) against the contract - assuming that there is actually some room in the silos of Rouen by then. If there isn't, then nobody really knows what will happen.

A month ago Paris wheat was commanding an EUR21.50/tonne premium to London feed wheat, tonight that differential has fallen to EUR12/tonne.

Or perhaps it was simply the realisation that much of this French wheat simply has to be sold, regardless of what price can be achieved for it (as with this week's GASC tender), to make room for the impending record large corn crop that's about to start coming in?

Late in the afternoon FranceAgriMer said that harvesting of that hadn't started as of Monday. They did however increase the proportion of the crop rated good to very good by one percentage point from a week ago to a large looking 86% versus only 55% this time last year.

There's a similar situation brewing in the States, with word like "phenomenal" and "bewildering" and "stellar" being used to describe early US corn and soybean yields.

The oft asked "how low can it go" question is still doing the rounds. In the case of Chicago corn some are now suggesting that a fall below $3/bu could be on the cards before too long. The next support level for London wheat is GBP110/tonne, and if that breaks then we are then looking at GBP100/tonne.

Meanwhile the 6 week long "sideways" pattern that existed in Paris wheat, as support at EUR170/tonne held, already seems like a distant memory. The market has quickly plunged a further EUR16.50/tonne, almost 10%, since that level was first breached just 10 days ago.

The Russian grain harvest rumbles on, if something that big can rumble. That now stands at 88.6 MMT off 72.6% of plan, with average yields up 17.5% at 2.62 MT/ha. Wheat currently accounts for 53.8 MMT of that total, off 73.2% of plan. Barley adds a further 19.6 MMT, off 85.3%, and corn 2.8 MMT, off 20.7%.

Winter plantings in Russia for the 2015 harvest are already well advanced, at 56.2% complete on 9.3 million hectares, up from only 5.6 million ha a year ago at this time. Note though that has been sown has largely gone into dry seed beds, especially in the Southern District. That sadly is only a very small crumb of comfort to the bulls. The forecast for the region is much wetter than normal across the next 15 days.

Ukraine meanwhile has now harvested 12% of it's planned 2014 corn area, producing a crop of 2.4 MMT to date. If this is marketed in the same desperate manner as they have been doing with wheat, barley and rapeseed (and it probably will be), then that doesn't bode well for prices in the coming months - especially with a record large EU crop also on the way.

The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 7.2 MMT of grain so far this season, including 4.12 MMT of wheat and 2.55 MMT of barley. The latter figure now surpasses the USDA forecast for the entire season after just 2 1/2 months of it.

Brussels said that they'd issued 505 TMT of soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the season to date total to 5.8 MMT. That's 100 TMT more than at this time last year, which is good, even if prices have needed to be cut to get the sales away. Don't forget that the USDA currently expects EU wheat exports to fall more than 18% this year versus 2013/14.

On the flip side of the coin, cumulative EU corn import licences have now been granted for 2.1 MMT, more than double the 911 TMT issued this time last season.

UK customs data released yesterday showed that the UK imported over 194 TMT of wheat and more than 100 TMT of corn in July - the first month of the new marketing year.

19-09-2014 07:09 AM | EU Reports
18/09/14 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, as the old adage "big crops get bigger" continues to bite.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP0.75/tonne to GBP113.00/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat closed EUR2.50/tonne lower at EUR159.00/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was down EUR0.50/tonne to EUR139.75/tonne, whilst Nov 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR2.75/tonne easier at EUR323.00/tonne.

This was the first time Paris wheat has closed below EUR160/tonne since July 2010.

French analysts Strategie Grains estimated the EU soft wheat crop at 146.6 MMT, up 2.5 MMT from last month, and 8% higher than a year ago. They now put the EU all wheat crop at a record 153.8 MMT versus the USDA's current 151 MMT estimate.

In addition they placed the EU-28 corn crop at an also record 71.3 MMT, up 3.3 MMT on a month ago, and 11% higher than in 2013. This was based on "mostly good conditions at planting time and lack of drought-stress during this year's growth cycle," they said.

For good measure they also increased their outlook for the EU-28 2014 barley crop by 1.9 MMT to 59.6 MMT, a figure now barely changed from 59.7 MMT a year ago, when plantings were boosted by an unusually wet winter.

MDA CropCast joined the chorus of analysts forecasting higher grain production across the world in 2014, upping their estimate for Ukraine's wheat crop by 3 MMT to 23.6 MMT, with an increase also for barley (up 0.9 MMT to 8.7 MMT)

Russia said that its 2014 grain harvest had now reached 88.2 MMT off 72.2% of plan. That includes 53.2 MMT of wheat (off 72.7%), 19.5 MMT of barley (85.1%) and 2.8 MMT of corn (20.3%).

Rusagrotrans said the the country would export 3.8 MMT of grains this month, down from the record 4.66 MMT shipped out in August. They held steady on their 2014/15 grain export total at 32.5 MMT.

The Russian Ministry said that winter plantings for the 2015 grain harvest were already well advanced, at 8.4 million hectares, around 50% of the planned area, and comparing favourably with only 5.3 million ha a year ago at this time.

Customs data shows that the UK imported a rather large 194 TMT of wheat in July, the first month of the new marketing year. That's far more than the 12 TMT exported, and the 26th month in a row that imports have outstripped exports. That may be due to uncertainty over the quality of this year's crop back then, and monthly volumes will presumably decrease as the season progresses.

The pound was higher against both the US dollar and euro today as the chances of Scotland voting "yes" to exiting the Union seemingly diminished. The latest odds from the bookies tonight have a "no" vote at 1/5 favourite. The result is expected early on Friday morning.

Assuming that a "no" vote gets the nod then the pound could be firmer in the coming days. It already topped 1.27 against the euro today, it's best in more than a year. That would obviously be bearish for UK wheat export ambitions and could add a bit more downside to London wheat prices yet.

Defra today reported English wheat plantings for this year's harvest were up nearly 20% from last year at 1.8 million ha. Add on Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and factor in the HGCA's current median forecast for yields at 8.5 MT/ha then we look like having a crop close to 17 MMT on our hands.

Comments Archive
2014(198)
    - January (23)
    - February (21)
    - March (24)
    - April (22)
    - May (26)
    - June (11)
    - July (26)
    - August (22)
    - September (23)
2013(274)
    - January (25)
    - February (22)
    - March (22)
    - April (23)
    - May (24)
    - June (21)
    - July (30)
    - August (22)
    - September (23)
    - October (21)
    - November (22)
    - December (19)
2012(265)
    - January (24)
    - February (21)
    - March (25)
    - April (20)
    - May (23)
    - June (24)
    - July (19)
    - August (24)
    - September (21)
    - October (23)
    - November (24)
    - December (17)
2011(76)
    - September (7)
    - October (24)
    - November (25)
    - December (20)