EU Wheat Closes Lower To Start Week

24/09/12 -- EU grains ended lower with Nov 12 London wheat GBP1.75/tonne easier at GBP204.65/tonne and with Nov 12 Paris wheat EUR3.25/tonne weaker at EUR260.50/tonne.

Grains began the week on the defensive, as Chicago spec money seemingly decided to cut their hefty longs and look for some fun elsewhere in the past week.

Ukraine said that it had exported 1.7 MMT of grains so far this month, of which almost 1 MMT was wheat, over half a million tonnes barley and almost 200 TMT corn.

Their 2012/13 marketing year to date exports are now 4.7 MMT, up 63% on a year ago. Wheat exports are up 78% at 2.24 MMT, and corn shipments go off the scale at 1.3 MMT versus just 58 TMT a year ago.

Kazakhstan's grain harvest is drawing to a close at 94% complete, producing a crop of 13 MMT so far with yields at 0.9 MT/ha, 43% down on last year's 1.59 MT/ha.

South Korea cancelled a tender for 70 TMT of optional origin feed wheat due to high prices. Turkey bought 25 TMT of Ukrainian origin milling wheat and Iraq seeks 50 TMT of optional origin milling wheat.

IKAR increased their Russian grain crop estimate to 70.0 MMT from a previous estimate of 69.0 MMT. They said that Russia has exported 7 MMT of grains so far this season and place full 2012/13 exports at 12.2 MMT including 9.5 MMT of wheat.

The EU Commission's MARS unit placed EU corn yields at 6.05 MT/ha versus their August estimate of 6.28 TMT/ha and down 20.6% from a year ago due to hot and dry weather.

Wheat yields were pegged at 5.26 MT/ha, down 1.8% from last year, with barley yields at 4.33 MT/ha, an increase of 0.4%, and rapeseed yields at 3.02 MT/ha, a 5.6% increase.

In the UK, after a difficult season, "the rain in many parts has further complicated and delayed the harvest of winter crops. Winter wheat yields in UK have been seriously revised down in line with reports from several external sources. Winter barley and rapeseed which are harvested before wheat, apparently fared better despite the difficult conditions," they said.

UK wheat yields were placed at 7.35 MT/ha, down more than 5% on last season and the 5-year average, but above the HGCA's assessment of last week. Barley yields were estimated at 5.72 MT/ha and rapeseed yields at 3.48 MT/ha.

Toepfer have apparently cut their UK wheat production estimate to 13.8 MMT today, which would fall into line with the HGCA's indicated 6.9 MT/ha "low end" yield estimate of last week off 2 million ha of planted area.