EU grains finished sharply higher with Nov 12 London wheat up GBP4.50/tonne to GBP187.25/tonne and Nov 12 Paris wheat EUR4.50/tonne firmer at EUR262.50/tonne.
European crop concerns, at least over quality, are adding to the realisation that sharply lower Black Sea output for the second year in three means that they are not going to be the force to be reckoned with that they were in 2011/12.
Despite mopping up a flurry of recent tenders it is looking increasingly likely that Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine will be hanging up the sold out signs much earlier than normal this season, despite the Ukraine Ministry saying that they have carried over around 10 MMT of grain
from last season into this new crop.
The non-cooperative European weather across the winter and spring/early summer is also raising doubts over production prospects here.
On Friday the HGCA reported: "Winter wheat quality could be very variable this season. There are increasing levels of fusarium in crops which could result in high levels of mycotoxins along with shrivelled grain
and low specific weight. Low Hagberg Falling numbers, normally associated with delays in harvest, may also be prevalent due to the low temperatures during grain
fill. Protein levels are very site and management dependent."
There are potential problem areas too for barley, with highly variable crops being reported. Already I have heard of everything from "the best crop I've ever harvested" to "one of my worst in recent years" amongst the early barley harvest.
In addition the HGCA report "Oilseed rape yields are unlikely to reach the record yields of 2011 due primarily to high levels of lodging." I think we can already say with confidence that yields will be well below last season.
The same yield and disease problems are likely to be replicated in Germany and possibly northern France too.
Algeria has announced a tender for wheat. It will be interesting to see if that gets filled by France, which is what you would normally expect, as a barometer to test if EU wheat prices are still competitive into north Africa.