EU Wheat Declines As UK And German Plantings Rise

08/03/12 -- EU grains finished mixed with May 12 London wheat down GBP0.30/tonne to GBP165.20/tonne and May 12 Paris wheat EUR1.75/tonne easier to EUR203.75/tonne.

The HGCA said that the English and Welsh cereal planted area was up 5% as at December 1st 2011, 5% higher than in December 2010 at 2.984M ha.

"The expansion in area comes following generally favourable autumn weather conditions in 2011, which allowed plantings to progress. Relatively strong forward crop prices at planting could also have been a factor," they said.

Wheat plantings are up 3% overall, with the strongest growth in the north and the east. Barley plantings are up 9%, with the largest increase coming in the south east where sowings are up a hefty 26%. This is due to "Strong malting premiums, mixed farms looking to produce more home-grown feed and bedding, improved relative profitability of winter barley and farmers wanting to spread harvest workloads," they added.

The winter oilseed rape area planted by 1 December 2011 is estimated 6% higher than the previous December at 0.698M ha, they estimated.

Elsewhere German analysts DBV said that the wheat harvest there will rebound 6.3% to 24.2 MMT by virtue of an increase in plantings and a return to average yields. Barley production will increase 13.3% to 9.9 MMT and rapeseed output is expected to come in 25.6% higher ay 4.8 MMT, they added.

Now we await on news due from Greece first thing in the morning if it has managed to persuade the required 75% plus of bondholders to partake in their debt swap deal. After that we have the USDA's March WASDE report due at 13.30 London time. The market expects a small reduction in world wheat ending stocks for 2011/12, but even so they are still expected to be at record levels.