EU Reports
26-11-2014 17:19 PM | EU Reports
26/11/14 -- EU grains are mixed heading into the close of play. Jan 15 London wheat is currently unchanged at GBP131.00/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat is up EUR1.00/tonne at EUR181.50/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn is down EUR0.50/tonne to EUR152.75/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed is EUR2.25/tonne lower at EUR342.50/tonne.

Concerns over the state of winter crops in Russia and Ukraine are supporting the market, along with the high level of EU wheat exports. Rusagrotrans today cut their estimate for the 2015 Russian grain crop to 91-98 MMT from 96-104 MMT previously, citing the lack of adequate snow cover and freezing temperatures.

SovEcon meanwhile predict next year's Russian grain crop at less than 90 MMT, including wheat production of under 50 MMT.

Ukraine said that winter grain planting there is more or less complete at 7.7 million hectares, up 2% on a year ago. Crop conditions there are however less than ideal, with the Ag Ministry saying that 18% of what has emerged is in poor condition.

APK Inform said that 2014 Ukraine wheat yields were a record 3.91 MT/ha on average. They predict grain exports this season at 32.2 MMT, including 10.35 MMT of wheat, 3.34 MMT of barley and 18.1 MMT of corn.

Ukraine's grain exports so far this calendar year (Jan/Oct) are 25 MMT, a 45% rise on a year ago.

Kazakhstan said that they've now harvested 18.72 MMT of grains this year, on 14.753 million ha, or 98.4% of the planted area.

Bangladesh are tendering for 50 TMT of optional origin wheat. Pakistan are said to have bought 137 TMT of Canadian/Australian OSR for Jan/Mar shipment in the past few days.

MDA CropCast made no change to their forecast for world wheat production in 2015/16, they see the EU-28 crop at 146.4 MT versus 150 MMT this season.

Serbia's Chamber of Commerce estimated their 2014 corn yields at a record 7.5 MT/ha, with production coming in at 8.5 MMT. That potentially leaves them with an exportable surplus of 3.5 MMT, up from the 1.85 MMT exported in 2013/14.

26-11-2014 09:19 AM | EU Reports
25/11/14 -- EU grains closed mostly higher, with London wheat closing above GBP130/tonne and Paris wheat over EUR180/tonne for the first time on a front month since July.

At the finish Nov 14 London wheat was up GBP1.95/tonne at GBP131.00/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.75/tonne higher at EUR180.50/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was unchanged at EUR153.25/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.75/tonne to EUR344.75/tonne.

EU wheat exports are defying expectations of a fall of around 12-17% in 2014/15 by continuing to run ahead of last season's record pace, aided by the weak euro and strong dollar.

The jungle drums meanwhile are already beating loudly regarding the health, or otherwise, of Russia's newly planted winter wheat crop.

The Russian Ag Ministry say that winter grain planting has now been completed on 16.8 million hectares, around 85% of which is typically wheat. That's a lot better than 12 months ago when only 15.1 million ha had been planted at this time, due to persistent autumn rains.

Too much rain isn't the problem this year though, it's the lack of it, that is why leading Russian analysts SovEcon are currently forecasting a 2015 Russian grain crop of less than 90 MMT, a drop of more than 20 MMT on this year. Wheat production will fall below 50 MMT next year, they estimate.

The Russian Ag Ministry say that the 2014 harvest is 97.3% complete at 110.1 MMT, including 62.2 MMT of wheat off 97.2% of the intended area and 11.0 MMT of corn (off 92.2% of plan). That leaves them in line to harvest the second largest crop in the post Soviet era this year. The acute weakness of the rouble however - down by almost a third against the US dollar since the turn of the year - is encouraging Russian farmers to hold onto their grain, rather than sell it.

The demise of the rouble, and lack of access to credit, may also significantly impact upon farmers' ability to fund the purchase of seed, fertiliser and agrochemicals next spring. Some may resort to planting home-grown seed, with subsequent yield losses. A lack of adequate spraying and fertiliser applications would also have a negative impact on yields.

A similar situation may be replicated in troubled neighbouring Ukraine too. Dryness there means that 18% of winter crops have emerged in poor condition. A further 850-860,000 ha hasn't sprouted at all. The Ukraine hryvnia meanwhile is down by almost 50% against the US dollar this year, making the funding of inputs there also out of many farmers' reach in 2015.

Weather forecasters are now predicting temperatures of -20 C to hit Ukraine by the middle of next month, which could cause further losses amongst crops unprotected by snow.

At home, Agrii estimate UK winter OSR plantings to have fallen 10% this year to around 620,000 ha - a 6 year low. This is partly due to current low prices and also concerns over pest damage due to new EU neonicotinoid pesticide rules.

Similar concerns are thought likely to have cut OSR plantings in France, Germany and Poland too.

25-11-2014 08:39 AM | EU Reports
24/11/14 -- EU grains traded mostly firmer, doing their best to ignore weakness in the overnight US globex markets, possibly in the belief that European wheat prices are already cheap enough with exports currently exceeding last year's record pace by around 900 TMT.

At the close Jan 15 London wheat was up GBP1.05/tonne to GBP129.05/tonne; Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne firmer at EUR178.75/tonne; Jan 15 Paris corn gained EUR1.00/tonne to EUR153.25/tonne; Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended EUR3.00/tonne higher at EUR342.00/tonne.

Saudi Arabia bought 345 TMT of 12.5% hard milling wheat over the weekend for Feb/Mar shipment - at least a proportion of that will probably be of EU (possibly German) origin.

Last week's GASC purchase takes the total volume of wheat that they have bought for shipment in the 2014/15 season to 2.25 MMT, with France being the largest supplier, accounting for 840 TMT (37%) of that total.

The German Stats Office said that the country's Jul/Sep wheat export were 2.1 MMT, up 5% on a year previously. Imports were however also up, rising from 0.9 MMT to 1.1 MMT, in the same period.

The Germans have been a featured seller to Iran of late, now that Western sanctions against them have been eased. The country exported 231 TMT of wheat to Iran in September, the Stats Office reported. That makes them Germany's largest non-EU wheat home so far this season, with exports of 441 TMT Jul/Sep.

Meanwhile Reuters report a 58 TMT cargo of French feed wheat is currently loading in Rouen bound for South Korea, said to be the largest such shipment in 26 years, as they strive to explore all avenues to dispose of this year's much larger than usual lower grade crop.

The EU Commission's MARS unit raised their forecast for EU-28 barley yields in 2014 from 4.59 MT/ha to 4.61 MT/ha, still a 6.1% drop on last year, although 2.5% above the previous 5-year average. They were unchanged on their outlook for wheat, corn and OSR yields from a month ago.

They were also unchanged on their outlook for all UK yields - wheat, barley and OSR - pegging those at 8.24 MT/ha, 5.82 MT/ha and 3.81 MT/ha respectively.

Looking ahead, they said that sowing conditions for winter wheat throughout Europe had been "predominately favourable" - particularly in the major producing countries of France, Germany, the UK and Poland. Here in the UK they said that sowing conditions were "excellent" throughout September and early October.

Things still don't look so rosy in Russia though, where dryness, cold and variable snow cover is a problem. “There was a steep drop in temperatures during the last week of October (5-10 C below average). During the most severe frost events temperatures fell to -5 to -10 C in the Southern District, and between -10 to -15 C in the Central and Volga Districts. This cold spell further delayed crop development," they said.

“Due to soil moisture deficiencies and adverse thermal conditions, winter wheat is generally poorly established….The risk of winter frost kill is high. An early start to the winter season with freezing temperatures and unusual snow cover may cause significant damages to the underdeveloped crops," they added.

APK Inform said that Ukraine grain exports via seaports last week were up 48% week-on-week to 699 TMT. Corn shipments accounted for 481.5 TMT, or 69% of the weekly total versus 70% a week previously. Wheat exports were 181.4 TMT, or 26% versus 28% the week prior.

The Ukraine Ministry said that winter grains have now been planted on 7.65 million ha, or 102% of their original forecast. Wheat accounts for 6.5 million ha of that (104%) and barley 1.0 million ha (94%). They now expect final winter plantings to reach 7.6 million ha.

They estimate that only 89% of what has been planted has emerged so far however, potentially leaving an area of around 850-860,000 ha needing to be replanted in the spring - if growers can afford it that is. The Ministry said that 82% of what has emerged is in good to satisfactory condition.

They also said that around 200k ha of crops sown for the 2014 harvest in the troubled Donetsk and Lughansk region remain unharvested and are likely to do so.

Russia said that they'd exported 2.08 MMT of grains in the Nov 1-19 period, including 1.48 MMT of wheat (71%), 400 TMT of barley (19%) and 153 TMT of corn (7%).

That takes their total exports so far this season to 17.04 MMT, a rise of almost 30% compared with last season. Wheat accounts for 13.8 MMT (81%) of that total, and barley a further 2.34 MMT (14%).

22-11-2014 15:49 PM | EU Reports
21/11/14 -- EU grains traded higher on the day, and higher for the week. Nov 14 London wheat expired, making Jan 15 the new front month.

At the close Jan 15 London wheat was up GBP2.25/tonne to GBP128.00/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne firmer at EUR177.75/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.50/tonne to EUR152.25/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended EUR1.25/tonne higher at EUR339.00/tonne.

For the week, Jan 15 London wheat gained GBP1.35/tonne, with Paris wheat adding EUR1.25/tonne, corn falling EUR0.75/tonne and rapeseed EUR3.25/tonne firmer.

London wheat is now at the best levels for a front month since mid-July, and Paris wheat is at its highest since early August.

Comments by ECB chief Mario Draghi were interpreted by the market as meaning that the bank is willing to further increase QE, which put the euro back under pressure today. The single currency slumped to its lowest levels against a resurgent dollar since Aug 2012, and is now down almost 10% against the US currency since the turn of the year.

EU wheat exports already remain very strong, and a weak euro will only help maintain that pace. Brussels issued a further 636,000 MT of soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the marketing year to date total to 11.5 MMT, which is almost a million tonnes ahead of this time a year ago when the final total went on to break all previous records.

FranceAgriMer said that the French corn harvest was 95% complete as of Monday, up 5 points on a week previously and 30 points ahead of this time a year ago.

Crop conditions for 2015 look promising at this early stage.

French winter wheat is now 98% planted versus 96% a week ago and 87% in 2013. The crop is 91% emerged versus 84% last week and 79% a year ago. They said that 38% of the crop is at the early tillering stage, up from 25% last week and ahead of only 24% a year ago.

The French winter barley crop has been 100% sown for a few weeks now. The proportion at the early tillering stage was estimated at 61%, up from 45% both a week and a year ago.

Winter wheat ratings dropped one percentage point from a week ago in the good to very good category to 93%, although that's not bad at all and still 10 points ahead of this time last year. Winter barley rated good to very good also fell a point on the week, and also to 93%, a year ago 81% of the crop was estimated to be in the top two categories.

If things look good in France, they're far from it in Russia where dryness remains a serious issue for their winter planted crops. "In the past 30 days only 13 mm of rainfall has developed in Krasnodar, Stavropol, Rostov and Volgograd, the 4 main winter wheat districts. That amounts to 37% of normal moisture. Dry weather this autumn also comes on the heels of a very dry summer. Less than half of normal rainfall occurred during June-August in the Southern District," say Martell Crop Projections.

SovEcon recently likened conditions this year to late 2009, Martell Crop Projections say that this year's drought is even worse. Wheat production in 2010 went on to be very poor, although a spring and early summer drought and heatwave were also contributory factors. World wheat prices doubled in the second half of 2010 through to early 2011 on the back of this you may recall.

Soaking spring rains will now be needed to save Russia's winter planted crops (mainly wheat) from becoming a similar disaster. This time round Russian growers also have the thorny problem of lack of easy access to credit to fund spring plantings and purchase other inputs. This could be as big, if not an even bigger issue than current crop conditions, one local commentator tells me.

The Russian Central Bank recently raised interest rates to 9.5% amidst a plunging rouble and raging inflation caused by Western sanctions. If you are a Russian farmer wanting to get a loan then your local bank is charging at least double that, and as much as 22%, if you can get one at all I understand.

22-11-2014 10:09 AM | EU Reports
21/11/14 -- EU grains traded higher on the day, and higher for the week. Nov 14 London wheat expired, making Jan 15 the new front month.

At the close Jan 15 London wheat was up GBP2.25/tonne to GBP128.00/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne firmer at EUR177.75/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.50/tonne to EUR152.25/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended EUR1.25/tonne higher at EUR339.00/tonne.

For the week, Jan 15 London wheat gained GBP1.35/tonne, with Paris wheat adding EUR1.25/tonne, corn falling EUR0.75/tonne and rapeseed EUR3.25/tonne firmer.

London wheat is now at the best levels for a front month since mid-July, and Paris wheat is at its highest since early August.

EU wheat exports remain very strong. Brussels issued a further 636,000 MT of soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the marketing year to date total to 11.5 MMT, which is almost a million tonnes ahead of this time a year ago when the final total went on to break all previous records.

FranceAgriMer said that the French corn harvest was 95% complete as of Monday, up 5 points on a week previously and 30 points ahead of this time a year ago.

Crop conditions for 2015 look promising at this early stage.

French winter wheat is now 98% planted versus 96% a week ago and 87% in 2013. The crop is 91% emerged versus 84% last week and 79% a year ago. They said that 38% of the crop is at the early tillering stage, up from 25% last week and ahead of only 24% a year ago.

The French winter barley crop has been 100% sown for a few weeks now. The proportion at the early tillering stage was estimated at 61%, up from 45% both a week and a year ago.

Winter wheat ratings dropped one percentage point from a week ago in the good to very good category to 93%, although that's not bad at all and still 10 points ahead of this time last year. Winter barley rated good to very good also fell a point on the week, and also to 93%, a year ago 81% of the crop was estimated to be in the top two categories.

If things look good in France, they're far from it in Russia where dryness remains a serious issue for their winter planted crops. "In the past 30 days only 13 mm of rainfall has developed in Krasnodar, Stavropol, Rostov and Volgograd, the 4 main winter wheat districts. That amounts to 37% of normal moisture. Dry weather this autumn also comes on the heels of a very dry summer. Less than half of normal rainfall occurred during June-August in the Southern District," say Martell Crop Projections.

SovEcon recently likened conditions this year to late 2009, Martell Crop Projections say that this year's drought is even worse. Wheat production in 2010 went on to be very poor, although a spring and early summer drought and heatwave were also contributory factors. World wheat prices doubled in the second half of 2010 through to early 2011 on the back of this you may recall.

Soaking spring rains will now be needed to save Russia's winter planted crops (mainly wheat) from becoming a similar disaster. This time round Russian growers also have the thorny problem of lack of easy access to credit to fund spring plantings and purchase other inputs. This could be as big, if not an even bigger issue than current crop conditions, one local commentator tells me.

The Russian Central Bank recently raised interest rates to 9.5% amidst a plunging rouble and raging inflation caused by Western sanctions. If you are a Russian farmer wanting to get a loan then your local bank is charging at least double that, and as much as 22%, if you can get one at all I understand.

21-11-2014 08:39 AM | EU Reports
20/11/14 -- EU grains closed mostly higher, supported by Egypt's GASC buying French wheat in a tender, even if it was only one cargo.

At the finish Nov 14 London wheat was up GBP1.40/tonne at GBP123.40/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR2.25/tonne higher at EUR174.75/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was EUR2.75/tonne firmer at EUR151.75/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.25/tonne to EUR337.75/tonne.

Egypt bought 60,000 MT of French wheat from Soufflet at $259.87/tonne including freight for Dec 21-31 shipment. The price was a little higher than the average $258.34/tonne paid in their last tender, although that was for a slightly better shipment period.

The purchase takes the total volume of wheat GASC have bought on the international arena for the 2014/15 shipment period to more than 2 MMT. That's still a far cry from the almost 5.5 MMT that they bought in 2013/14.

The world's largest wheat buyer recently stated that they had enough wheat bought to almost see them through to the start of their own domestic harvest in March. The Egyptian government pay way over current world wheat price levels to local producers in an effort to ensure increased domestic production.

This would seem to indicate that their international purchases may fall significantly in 2014/15 - which is after all the government's stated aim. Lack of credit is also an issue for them.

Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia are in the market tendering for 330,000 MT of 12.5% milling wheat for Feb/Mar shipment.

Israel bought 147,000 MT of optional origin corn (possibly Black Sea origin) for Jan/Apr shipment. They also cancelled a tender for 25,000 MT of optional origin wheat.

APK Inform estimated Ukraine’s 2014/15 wheat crop at 23.3 MMT, up 5% from a year ago, but more than 1MMT below the USDA's current forecast. They see this season's wheat exports however at 10.35 MMT versus the USDA estimate of 10.0 MMT. They also forecast Ukraine’s 2014/15 corn exports at 18.1 MMT versus a USDA estimate of 16.5 MMT.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country's 2014 grain harvest was now 97% done at 62 MMT.

MDA CropCast forecast the EU-28 wheat crop next year at 146.4 MMT, a 2 MMT reduction compared with their previous estimate and a 2.4% decrease on this year.

19-11-2014 18:59 PM | EU Reports
19/11/14 -- EU grains traded lower, following an afternoon slump in the US markets, which saw Chicago wheat post double digit losses and with corn almost matching it.

At the close Nov 14 London wheat - which goes off the board on Friday and has zero open interest - was nominally down GBP1.15/tonne to GBP122.00/tonne; Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne lower at EUR172.50/tonne; Jan 15 Paris corn fell EUR1.00/tonne to EUR149.00/tonne; Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended EUR2.50/tonne easier at EUR336.50/tonne.

The pound recovered marginally from yesterday's 14 month low against the US dollar, and also added a little bit of weight versus the euro.

Sterling is still almost 8% lower against the dollar compared to where it stood in early July. It has also fallen from around 1.28 against the single currency to under 1.25 so far this month.

Lloyds Bank put back their forecast for a UK interest rate rise from Feb 15 to Aug 15. In contrast, they neared their estimate for when rates will start to rise in the US from Sep 15 to Jun 15.

They said that the recent fall in value of the pound may have been a little overdone though, forecasting an exchange rate of around 1.59 against the dollar and 1.27 versus the euro by the end of the year. Even so, they now see the STG/USD rate at 1.53 by the end of 2015.

A weaker pound would in theory help the chances of the UK winning some welcome wheat export business, although sales have been sluggish so far this season.

Very good corn yields are being reported out of France as their harvest draws to a close (90% done as of Nov 10).

The General Association of Maize Growers (AGPM) raised their forecast for this year's French corn crop from 17.25 MMT to a new record 18 MMT today.

Ukraine's Ministry of Economic Development forecast this year's grain crop at a record 63.2 MMT, which is slightly higher than 63.0 MMT a year ago. They see wheat production at 24 MMT, with a barley crop of 9 MMT and corn output of 28 MMT.

Exports this year were forecast at a record 36.7 MMT, including 11.8 MMT of wheat, 4.2 MMT of barley and 20.2 MMT of corn.

Ukraine's 2014/15 grain ending stocks were estimated at 7.7 MMT versus the 8.3 MMT left over at the end of last season.

Ukraine's grain exports so far this season stand at 14.173 MMT, including 7.157 MMT of wheat, 3.316 MMT of barley and 3.555 MMT of corn. They now appear to be concentrating their export efforts on the latter as the harvesting of that draws to a close.

Russia still has around 600k ha of wheat to harvest this year, mainly in Siberia and the Urals region, according to Agritel. They may struggle to get it all in now.

The Philippines are tendering for 116,400 MT of feed wheat from Australia, the EU or the Black Sea region for March-May shipment.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that there is a 70% chance of an El Nino developing by the end of their summer, up from 50% previously. Whilst this would bring drier weather for much of Australia, it would also typically mean increased rainfall for South America and parts of the US.

19-11-2014 08:49 AM | EU Reports
18/11/14 -- EU grains traded mostly lower. At the close Nov 14 London wheat was down GBP0.50/tonne to GBP123.15/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat was EUR0.25/tonne easier at EUR173.25/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was down EUR2.00/tonne to EUR150.00/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended EUR2.50/tonne higher at EUR339.00/tonne.

Once again, fresh news was hard to come by, and prices generally drifted lower.

There are reports of a 45,000 MT French feed wheat boat loading in Rouen bound for the east coast of the US. This is said to be the first such shipment in 12 years as the French search for new homes for their large feed wheat surplus this year.

There are also reports of 25,000 MT of German rapeseed meal going to the US this month.

The French government said that as of October 1st French farmers had sold 29.5 MMT of this year's grain harvest versus 28.0 MMT a year ago.

They also said that as of the same date French grain stocks were 20.1 MMT versus 19.4 MMT a year ago.

Qatar are said to be tendering for 40,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat for Jan-March shipment, and Jordan seeks 100,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat for April/May shipment.

Tunisia are also in the market, tendering for 92,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat for Dec-Jan shipment, along with 75,000 tons of optional origin barley for the same period.

The HGCA estimated the UK cost of production of feed wheat for the 2014 harvest at around GBP151/tonne.

Ukraine said that their 2014 grain harvest was now 97% done at 61.7 MMT. The corn harvest currently stands at 25.2 MMT, they said.

The Russian harvest is also 97% complete at almost 110 MMT.

18-11-2014 09:49 AM | EU Reports
17/11/14 -- EU grains closed mostly mixed amidst a general lack of fresh news. Sterling weakness was again a supportive factor for London wheat, not that there's much sign of it leading to increased export activity just yet.

At the finish Nov 14 London wheat was down GBP0.35/tonne at GBP123.65/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne lower at EUR173.50/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was EUR1.00/tonne weaker at EUR152.00/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed was up EUR0.75/tonne to EUR336.50/tonne.

The pound fell to a new lowest level in more than a year against the US dollar. It's currently down 2.2% against the US currency so far this month. You may recall it's been noted on here before that November is traditionally a bad month for "cable" (the pound/dollar), sterling has fallen against the greenback for 10 of the last 14 years, and 14 of the last 20.

Russia announced that it's grain harvest was now past 97% done at 109.6 MMT in bunker weight. That includes 62.1 MMT of wheat, 21.2 MMT of barley and 10.2 MMT of corn. Harvesting of the latter has now reached 90% complete.

The harvest in Siberia is 95% done and in the Urals region it's only 87.5% complete.

Customs data shows that Russia exported 2.47 MMT of wheat in October. That's 17% less than in September, but a 35.5% rise versus 12 months previously. Egypt was the top home, accounting for more than 25% of exports last month.

Russia said that it had exported 1.274 MMT of grains in the Nov 1-12 period, including 912 TMT of wheat, 274 TMT of barley and 71 TMT of corn.

That takes the marketing year to date export total to 16.242 MMT, a 39% rise compared with a year ago. Of that total 13.233 MMT is wheat, 2.211 MT is barley and 658 TMT is corn.

APK Inform said that Ukraine's grain exports via seaports fell noticeably last week, down to 472.5 TMT from 666.5 TMT the previous week, without offering a reason why. Wheat accounted for 28% of that total, and corn 70%. The trend towards majoring on corn exports continues, as last week's proportion of total exports was 65% and the week before it was 53%.

The Ukraine State Statistics Service said the country's grain stocks as on Nov 1 were up 31% compared with a year ago.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that 89% of the country's planted winter grains area had emerged, and that 83% of that was in good to satisfactory condition.

The acute weakness of both the Russian rouble and Ukraine hryvnia may be leading farmers to "hoard" their remaining grain stocks it is thought. Domestic offers are hard to find in both countries, by all accounts.

18-11-2014 08:59 AM | EU Reports
17/11/14 -- EU grains closed mostly mixed amidst a general lack of fresh news. Sterling weakness was again a supportive factor for London wheat, not that there's much sign of it leading to increased export activity just yet.

At the finish Nov 14 London wheat was down GBP0.35/tonne at GBP123.65/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne lower at EUR173.50/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was EUR1.00/tonne weaker at EUR152.00/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed was up EUR0.75/tonne to EUR336.50/tonne.

The pound fell to a new lowest level in more than a year against the US dollar. It's currently down 2.2% against the US currency so far this month. You may recall it's been noted on here before that November is traditionally a bad month for "cable" (the pound/dollar), sterling has fallen against the greenback for 10 of the last 14 years, and 14 of the last 20.

Russia announced that it's grain harvest was now past 97% done at 109.6 MMT in bunker weight. That includes 62.1 MMT of wheat, 21.2 MMT of barley and 10.2 MMT of corn. Harvesting of the latter has now reached 90% complete.

The harvest in Siberia is 95% done and in the Urals region it's only 87.5% complete.

Customs data shows that Russia exported 2.47 MMT of wheat in October. That's 17% less than in September, but a 35.5% rise versus 12 months previously. Egypt was the top home, accounting for more than 25% of exports last month.

Russia said that it had exported 1.274 MMT of grains in the Nov 1-12 period, including 912 TMT of wheat, 274 TMT of barley and 71 TMT of corn.

That takes the marketing year to date export total to 16.242 MMT, a 39% rise compared with a year ago. Of that total 13.233 MMT is wheat, 2.211 MT is barley and 658 TMT is corn.

APK Inform said that Ukraine's grain exports via seaports fell noticeably last week, down to 472.5 TMT from 666.5 TMT the previous week, without offering a reason why. Wheat accounted for 28% of that total, and corn 70%. The trend towards majoring on corn exports continues, as last week's proportion of total exports was 65% and the week before it was 53%.

The Ukraine State Statistics Service said the country's grain stocks as on Nov 1 were up 31% compared with a year ago.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that 89% of the country's planted winter grains area had emerged, and that 83% of that was in good to satisfactory condition.

The acute weakness of both the Russian rouble and Ukraine hryvna may be leading farmers to "hoard" their remaining grain stocks it is thought. Domestic offers are hard to find in both countries, by all accounts.

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