06 March 2015 | Online since 2003



EU grains close lower; UK weather favourable for spring crops


EU grains closed lower again, with London and Paris wheat slumping to fresh 4 year lows.

The day ended with new crop Nov 14 London wheat closing GBP1.95/tonne lower at GBP127.05/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne easier at EUR176.25/tonne, Aug 14 Paris corn was down EUR1.25/tonne to EUR165.50/tonne and Aug 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR8.25/tonne to EUR309.00/tonne.

Paris wheat prices are now at 4-year lows, along with London wheat. Paris rapeseed meanwhile fell more than EUR20/tonne to EUR296.50/tonne (a 4 1/2 year low) in early dealing, before recovering some of those losses.

The EU Commission's MARS unit forecast EU-28 average soft wheat yields at 5.80 MT/ha, similar to last year and 4.2% above the 5-year average. All barley yields were estimated at 4.54 MT/ha, slightly below 4.85 MT/ha in 2013, although still 1.2% up on the 5-year average. Corn yields were estimated at 7.23 MT/ha versus 6.72 MT/ha in 2013 and 6.6% above the previous 5-year norm. OSR yields were forecast at 3.32 MT/ha versus 3.11 MMT last year and 8.4% higher than the 5-year average.

In the UK specifically, they estimated the wheat yield at 8.13 MT/ha. That's up from their previous forecast of 8.05 MT/ha last month, 10.1% higher than a year ago and 8.5% above the 5-year average.

They said that UK 2014 barley yields would come in at 5.81 MT/ha, down from the 5.86 MT/ha forecast a month ago, and 0.7% below last year's 5.85 MT/ha. That's still 1.2% above the 5-year average however.

As far as UK rapeseed yields go, they increased their forecast from 3.76 MT/ha a month ago to 3.81 MT/ha. That's 28.1% up versus 2013 and 11.4% above the 5-year average.

On face value, if we were to assume that these yield estimates are correct, and that the HGCA/Defra planted area figures are also accurate, then the UK would end up with a 2014 wheat crop of 15.93 MMT (versus 11.92 MMT in 2013), along with 6.33 MMT of barley (7.09 MMT last year) and 2.74 MMT of rapeseed (2.13 MMT). That of course excludes any whole cropping.

"The overall EU-28 cereal yield forecast for 2014 is favourable, at the level of last year and above the average of the past five years (by 4.4%). Aside from durum wheat and spring barley, all cereals are significantly above the five-year average and close to the good yield levels of 2013," MARS said.

In the UK they said that "weather conditions were generally favourable for winter and spring crops. Substantial rain during the first half of July benefited spring crops in particular, but could locally have affected the grain quality of winter cereals."

Elsewhere, the Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country's early grains harvest (excluding corn) had produced a crop of 16.11 MMT to date off 52% of the combinable area. Yields are up 7.5% at 3.14 MT/ha. That total includes 10.87 MMT of wheat and 4.97 MMT of barley. Ukraine growers have also harvested 1.29 MMT of winter OSR.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that they'd exported over 1 MMT of grain in the Jul 1-16 period, an increase of 47% on a year ago. That total includes 807 TMT of wheat, 164 TMT of barley and 34 TMT of corn. Russia’s Ag Ministry estimated Russia 2014/15 grain exports at 27-30 MMT versus 25.372 MMT in 2013/14.

Reuters reported that private Egyptian buyers purchased 60 TMT of Black Sea milling wheat, including 30 TMT of 12.5% protein material at $257 C&F (around GBP150.50/tonne including freight) and 30 TMT of 11.5% product at $247 C&F (circa GBP144.50/tonne including freight).

Pakistan were said to have bought 130,000 MT of Black Sea origin wheat for July/August shipment.

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