30 March 2015 | Online since 2003



Quality problems with EU wheat


EU grains markets closed lower on the day, although mixed on the week.

The day finished with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP1.45/tonne at GBP126.30tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat ended EUR1.25/tonne easier at EUR179.75/tonne, Aug 14 Paris corn was down EUR2.50/tonne at EUR156.25/tonne, whilst Aug 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR1.50/tonne to EUR317.75/tonne.

For the week that puts London wheat GBP2.70/tonne lower and Paris corn EUR10.50 easier. Paris wheat did however manage a small rise of half a euro, as too did Paris rapeseed. Quality problems with the respective harvests of the latter two have supported prices for those this week.

Reuters reported that although protein levels are said to be OK, large proportions of this year's French wheat crop has Hagberg levels of 160 or less, rendering it virtually useless as milling wheat, and certainly not up to the standard wanted by traditional North African homes for French wheat.

FranceAgriMer reported that the French winter wheat harvest had advanced to 44% done as of last Monday, up from only 5% complete a week previously.

Reuters also reported that France had already exported, or was currently loading, 262 TMT of barley for China in July so far. That's more than their previous 5 year average annual barley exports to the Far Eastern buyer of 180 TMT per annum.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry reported the early grains harvest there at 64% complete at 20.526 MMT, with average yields at 3.26 MT/ha versus 2.99 MT/ha a year ago. Wheat accounts for over 14 MMT of that total, with barley production contributing almost 6 MMT more.

The Ukraine Ag Minister said that around half a million tonnes of this year's grain crop could be lost due to the ongoing conflict in the east of the country.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that the 2014 grain harvest there was almost 23% complete at 37.2 MMT, with yields averaging 3.48 MT/ha versus only 2.84 MT/ha this time last year. Wheat accounts for 31.4 MMT of that total off nearly 34% of the planned area.

Brussels confirmed yesterday that they'd issued 262 TMT of soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the 2014/15 marketing year total so far to 763 TMT. They also granted 220 TMT worth of barley exports, taking the seasonal total to date to 789 TMT. In addition they also issued 247 TMT of corn import licences, which takes the 2014/15 total so far to 891 TMT.

Separately, the EU approved 40,557 MT worth of Ukraine wheat imports under the existing preferential duty free tariff agreement, along with allowing 30,000 MT of corn and 10,400 MT of barley into the bloc from the same country.

Turkey bought 165 TMT of milling wheat and 65 TMT of feed barley, both of optional origin for Aug/Sep shipment.

European Commission estimated EU 28 2014 soft wheat crop at 137.5 MMT, unchanged from their previous estimate and up 1.9% from 2013. They also estimated the EU 28 2014 barley crop at 55.9 MMT, up from a previous estimate of 55.3 MMT, although down 5.9% from 2013.

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