28-03-2014 11:44 AM | Arable, Cereal, Crops, Market Reports, News

Parts of US winter wheat crop get much-needed rain



EU grains closed with little change. May 14 London wheat 5 pence lower at GBP168.25/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 was GBP0.50/tonne easier at GBP159.30/tonne. May 14 Paris wheat closed a euro higher at EUR211.50/tonne, Jun 14 Paris corn was unchanged at EUR185.75/tonne and May 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.75/tonne to EUR411.00/tonne.

Brussels announced another strong week of European soft wheat exports, with 816 TMT worth of export licences being granted. That takes the cumulative total for the 2013/14 campaign to 22.7 MMT, already beating the previous full season record set in 2008/09. Add on 582 TMT of wheat flour exports and a further 702 TMT of durum and we get a grand total of all wheat/flour exports of almost 24 MMT.

With 3 months of the season remaining that means that Europe has already achieved 83% of the USDA's estimated total for the marketing year of 29 MMT. If we were to carry on exporting wheat at this rate then total 2013/14 sales would hit 32 MMT.

As wheat goes out, corn comes in, with Brussels also granting 501 TMT worth of corn import licences, taking the marketing year to date total to 10.1 MMT.

The Russian Ag Minister optimistically said that the recent "acquisition" of Crimea would add 2 MMT of grain production to the national harvest this year, forecasting a total Russian grain crop of 97 MMT. The last time Crimea produced anything like that volume however was in 2011. Last year's crop was only 800 TMT and in 2012 it was only a little better at 900 TMT.

The Ukraine Weather Centre said that winter crop losses this year would only total 1-2% of plantings - a historically low number - due to the unusually mild winter. The Ukraine Ministry said that early spring grain plantings (which excludes corn) had been completed on 1.9 million hectares, or 64% of plan. That total includes 1.45 million ha of barley, 100k ha of wheat and 169k ha of oats.

APK Inform said that Ukraine's grain exports to date this season had now exceeded 25 MMT, which is 79% of their forecast for full year exports of 31.7 MMT.

Local analysts ProAgro forecast Ukraine's 2014/15 grain crop at 55.7 MMT, a 6.5% decline on last year. They see wheat production at 20.3 MMT, an 8.5% fall on 2013.

Parts of the US winter wheat crop got some much-needed rain overnight, partially easing drought conditions.

"Ordinarily a strong wave of showers would not make the headlines, but following one of the driest winters on record, it is big news. Of the 3 main bread wheat states Oklahoma fared best receiving 1-1.5 inches in scattered strong showers," said Martell Crop Projections. Parts of Kansas and Texas also picked up some moisture too, they noted.

Algeria's Ag Ministry estimated their 2014 grain crop at 5.5 MMT versus 4.9 MMT in 2013. They forecast 2014 soft and durum wheat imports at 5-5.5 MMT.

Tunisia's Ag Minister was quoted on Reuters as saying that this year's grain harvest "will much higher than last year's crop." Production in 2013 fell to only 1.2 MMT from 2.2 MMT in 2012.

Egypt's Supplies Minister said that he expects Egypt’s 2014/15 wheat imports to fall 1.0-1.5 MMT from 2013/14.

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