EU grains began the new month mixed, with little change. May 14 London wheat closed GBP0.75/tonne lower at GBP165.00/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 was GBP1.00/tonne easier at GBP155.50/tonne. May 14 Paris wheat closed EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR208.00/tonne, Jun 14 Paris corn was up a euro at EUR187.00/tonne and May 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.75/tonne to EUR409.75/tonne.
Fresh news was relatively light. Copa Cogeca forecast an EU-28 rapeseed crop "close to 21 MMT" this year, that's down slightly on 21.3 MMT in 2013 despite a small rise in planted area. The estimate is almost identical to last week's EU Commission and Coceral forecasts of 21.1 MMT. They reported "a positive crop situation due to the mild winter this year and good winter sowings." Adding that "although it is still very early on in the growing season, crops look in very good condition."
For soft wheat output they estimated the EU-28 crop at 136.2 MMT, up 2.7% on last year. Again this is very close to the number released by Coceral last week (135.9 MMT). "The UK situation is positive, despite the severe floods. But in some countries like Spain it was too early to say and figures are still cautious for the EU," they said. "Baltic states are meanwhile facing a huge rate of winter kill (around 80%) and are looking for available spring seed varieties," they added. The EU-28 all wheat crop was forecast 2.6% higher at 144 MMT, a 3.5 MMT rise on last year.
Areas where they fell less in line with Coceral were in their forecasts for EU-28 corn and barley production. They estimated the EU-28 barley crop at 58.6 MMT, a fall of only 300 TMT on last year - less than a half of one percent. Coceral last week suggested that Europe's barley crop would fall by almost 7% to 55.3 MMT this year.
Copa Cogenca were also relatively bullish on this year's corn production prospects, forecasting output rising 3.6% to 66.6 MMT on improved yield potential. Coceral only estimated the EU-28 corn crop at 63.7 MMT last week.
The Ukraine Weather Centre said that the country had suffered a 25-40% rainfall deficit this winter, and in some areas deficit totals were as high as 40-50%. Nevertheless "moisture content reserves throughout the most of Ukrainian territory are favourable for winter and spring crops," they said. Decent rains are in the forecast for Ukraine in the 7-15 day time frame.
Before then though there's a chance of frost across the next couple of nights, with similar conditions in the forecast for Russia.
The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 2.98 MMT of grains in March, up from 2.82 MMT in February. Corn accounted for the vast majority of last month's exports at 2.6 MMT.
Ukraine's 2013/14 marketing year to date exports are now 27.46 MMT, up more than 40% on a year ago. That includes almost 17.3 MMT of corn and 7.8 MMT of wheat.
Bulgaria said that they'd exported a record 3.14 MMT of wheat so far this year, and that 2.18 MMT of it had been sold to Europe. They've also exported 1.52 MMT of corn, with European buyers taking 1.07 MMT of that.