28 March 2015 | Online since 2003



2014 UK harvest 'one of the earliest in recent years'


EU grains closed mostly lower to start the week, consolidating ahead of tomorrow's world supply and demand report from the USDA.

The day ended with new crop Nov 14 London wheat closing GBP0.60/tonne lower at GBP123.20/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat was EUR2.00/tonne easier at EUR172.25/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was unchanged at EUR154.50/tonne and Nov 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR3.25/tonne EUR324.75/tonne.

The market was perhaps relieved that tensions between Russia and the West didn't deteriorate further over the weekend.

The USDA could add a little bit more bearish news to the pot tomorrow, with an increase in US corn production and yields to record levels seeming highly likely. There could also be a tweak higher to EU wheat output, and maybe one for corn as well. Russian wheat production should certainly be in for an increase, as last month's 53 MMT estimate is now around 5 MMT below where some local analysts are lining up.

The last figures out from the Russian Ministry said that the 2014 grain harvest there had now been completed on 16.9 million hectares, which is 36.2% of plan, producing a crop of 55.8 MMT so far. Yields were reported to be averaging 3.3 MT/ha, up almost 20% on a year ago.

Wheat accounts for 41.4 MMT of that total off 45.4% of the intended area, with yields said to be up 18.8% at 3.6 MT/ha. As you can see from that, a final harvest of only 53 MMT looks way to low even if the Russian figures are in bunker weight (uncleaned) and allowing for lower yields from spring wheat in less productive areas like Siberia.

Ukraine's Ministry said that they'd already exported 2.7 MMT of grain so far in 2014/15 (the season began on Jul 1), including 1.2 MMT of barley, 1.1 MMT of wheat and 361 TMT of corn.

Kazakhstan said that they expected to export 8-9 MMT of grain in 2014/15, a similar volume to last season, out of an anticipated harvest of 17 MMT.

Egypt said that it will maintain the price it pays the country's farmers for wheat through to the 2015 harvest, despite the fact that these levels are now over $100/tonne above world prices, in an effort to boost national production. It may also boost smuggling as $100/tonne is a big carrot to dangle.

Agritel said that they estimated French wheat yields at 7.57 MT/ha this year, a 2.3% rise on 12 months ago, although recent rains mean that quality is highly variable. They estimate production at very close to the record levels of 1998.

They said that French milling wheat prices delivered to Rouen (on the basis of 76 kg/hl, 220 hagberg and 11% protein) were around EUR177/tonne (circa GBP141.50/tonne), with French new crop rapeseed FOB Moselle offered at around EUR326/tonne (circa GBP260/tonne).

The HGCA reported last week that the 2014 UK harvest was one of the earliest in recent years. There might not be a great deal of further progress this week as Bertha brings cool and wet conditions for much of the country (and parts of the rest Europe too). Things look drier, brighter and warmer though around 10 days from now.

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