18 April 2015 | Online since 2003



4 year lows for London and Paris wheat


EU grains closed mostly lower with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP2.50/tonne at GBP122.10/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat was down EUR5.00/tonne to EUR170.50/tonne, Aug 14 Paris corn fell EUR0.75/tonne to EUR162.75/tonne and Aug 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR7.75/tonne to EUR325.00/tonne.

For both London and Paris wheat these were new 4-year lows.

The HGCA said that the UK grain harvest was already around 20% complete, double the norm for the end of July.

"Harvesting of winter barley and winter oilseed rape is nearing completion in the southern half of England and has started further North and into Scotland and Wales. Harvesting has commenced in Southern regions on wheat, spring barley and some oats," they said.

Nationally they said that the winter OSR harvest was now 75% done, along with 85% of the winter barley crop. Yields of the latter were described as "well above average".

"Winter barley yields are good, averaging 7.2-7.4 MT/ha, whilst winter oilseed rape yields are averaging 3.4-3.6 MT/ha," they reported.

It's still too early to suggest where winter wheat yields will end up. "There has been a great deal of variability in the early yields with some of the lightest land in the Eastern region yielding just 4.5 MT/ha, whilst heavier land in the same region is yielding 9.0-9.6 MT/ha. In the West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber, some of the best crops have yielded up to 11-12 MT/ha," they added.

"Early quality data for milling wheat is showing some high Hagberg falling numbers," they said. That could be good news for milling wheat growers, with France (and possibly others too) said to be suffering problems with low Hagberg levels this year.

Note though that there is no sign of a minimum Hagberg level within the terms of the Paris milling wheat contract.

As was widely expected, there was no eleventh hour deal or last minute reprieve, Argentina defaulted on it's debt to the "hedge fund vultures" early this morning. The trade is still wondering what this means for global trade in wheat, corn and soybeans.

Argentina are expected to be the world's 7th largest exporter of wheat in 2014/15, and the 3rd largest for both corn and soybeans. They are also the biggest global exporter of soymeal, set to ship a larger volume than the US and Brazil combined in 2014/15, according to the latest projections from the USDA.

The trade is also considering the possible ramifications of an intensifying of Western sanctions against Russian banks, and how that might possibly disrupt global trade in wheat in particular. Russia are forecast to be the world's joint fourth largest wheat exported in 2014/15.

Certainly they look like having plenty of wheat to sell this year. The 2014 Russian wheat harvest is 41.3% complete, already producing a crop of 38 MMT with average yields up 19.8% at 3.63 MT/ha.

MDA CropCast today raised their forecast for the Russian 2014 wheat crop by 1.2 MMT from last week, saying that drier weather will favour winter wheat drydown and harvesting. Spring wheat growth will be finishing up, they also noted.

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