19 April 2015 | Online since 2003



London wheat sets 'lifetime closing low'


EU grains markets finished lower again, in a continuation of the recent theme. Nov 14 London wheat set a fresh contract lifetime closing low, and also finished at a fresh lowest close for a front month in almost 4 years.

The day finished with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP1.00/tonne at GBP132.00/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat ended EUR1.50/tonne lower at EUR181.75/tonne, Aug 14 Paris corn was down EUR1.75/tonne at EUR169.75/tonne, whilst Aug 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR2.00/tonne to EUR333.75/tonne.

There's talk that cash-strapped and short of storage Ukraine farmers being forced into taking "whatever they can get" for new crop wheat and barley.

There are reports that new crop Ukrainian 11.5% milling wheat traded at $247/tonne FOB, which is a very sharp price and the equivalent of GBP147/tonne. New crop Ukrainian corn meanwhile is now said to have fallen below $200/tonne FOB the Black Sea.

Egypt's GASC bought four cargoes of Romanian wheat for late August shipment, paying around $249-251 FOB, with freight of some $10-11/tonne to add on top. That's a few dollars less than their last purchase a week ago which came in at around $252/tonne FOB. It may also indicate that quality concerns regarding Romanian wheat may be premature.

A panel of Russian experts were said to have estimated this year's grain crop at 94-99 MMT versus 92.4 MMT a year ago. Exports in 2014/15 will rise to 27-30 MMT versus 25.37 MMT in 2013/14, they forecast.

The Russian Ministry said that the country had harvested 11.7 MMT of grain so far off 7.2% of the planned area. Yields are said to be averaging 3.54 MT/ha, a 12% increase on this time a year ago.

Wheat accounts for 7.4 MMT of that total off 8.3% of the intended area, with yields coming in at 3.55 MT/ha, a near 10% increase on 2013.

FranceAgriMer estimated the French 2014 wheat crop at 36.7 MMT, almost identical to last year's production. They estimated 2013/14 French wheat ending stocks at 2.7 MMT versus 2.9 MMT a year ago.

The French port of Rouen said that it had exported 7.45 MMT of grains in 2013/14, a 15 year high. Wheat accounted for 6.6 MMT of that, a 22% rise versus 12 months previously. The leading home was Algeria taking 3.5 MMT. They will be looking in that direction again in 2014/15.

Algeria estimated their 2014 cereal crop at 3.2-3.3 MMT, a sharp fall on 4.9 MMT a year ago, due to low April rainfall. Grain consumption here is around 8 MMT per annum, so they are likely to be even larger buyers of French wheat and barley again in the year ahead.

Jordan are tendering for 100,000 MT of optional origin hard milling wheat.

Wheat still can't buy a rally it would seem, despite some pick up in demand from North Africa and the Middle East, as harvest pressure continues to weigh on the market. Meanwhile "distressed" Black Sea sellers continue to drive prices lower.

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