EU Grains Mixed, Wheat Mostly Higher To Start Week

08/10/12 -- EU grains were mixed with Nov 12 London wheat up GBP2.60/tonne to GBP201.65/tonne and with Nov 12 Paris wheat EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR259.75/tonne.

UK wheat seems to be doing a fairly good impression maybe of ignoring the bigger picture at the moment.

ODA said that it estimates UK wheat yields at 6.8 MT/ha this year, implying a crop of 13.6 MMT, which would be in line with Coceral and also the HGCA's recent indications. GATFA think it could be marginally lower at 13.5 MMT, according to comments made at last week's Edinburgh bourse and reported on Bloomberg today.

Whilst that sounds outrageously bullish versus last year's 15.3 MMT crop, the quality (or lack of it) of this season's output needs to be remembered. Exports are most certainly going to be well below last year's levels, which were aided by great proteins, big bushel weights and high hagberg falling numbers.

In addition, it is thought that imports will rise to at least 2 MMT, and possibly 2.5 MMT, compared to only 0.9 MMT in 2011/12.

The UK is currently actively importing much better quality wheat than we have at home this year from France, Germany and the Baltic states, according to various sources.

Meanwhile, the French port of Rouen remains "full" of wheat as exports during Q1 of 2012/13 have been "very slow" according to a separate report on Bloomberg today. Silo operators there are hoping that exports pick up in the remainder of the season, once cheaper supplies from Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have been mopped up by the market.

The EU Commission pegged the all wheat crop here this year at 134 MMT, versus 137 MMT last year. Imports from non-EU origins were placed at 6.4 MMT, versus 7.1 MMT. Domestic use was estimated at 125.8 MMT, compared to 128.1 MMT a year ago, and exports cut to 14.9 MMT from 15.7 MMT. All in all that leaves 2012/13 ending stocks almost unchanged at 10.8 MMT from 11.0 MMT in 2011/12.

They also estimated this season's EU-27 corn crop at 57.5 MMT, down 4.5% on last year, although significantly better than recent forecasts from the IGC at 55.0 MMT and 53.6 MMT from MDA CropCast.

Neither set of numbers from the Commission could be considered a disaster.

Rusagrotrans say that Russia exported 7.8-7.9 MMT of grains in Q1 of 2012/13, including 6.6-6.7 MMT of wheat, 1.0 MMT of barley and 0.1 MMT of corn. With the first quarter out of the way though shipments are expected to drop off sharply for the remainder of the marketing year.

They see full exports to the end of the year at 13.5 MMT, including 10.7 MMT of wheat, 1.7 MMT of barley and 0.9 MMT of corn. The bulk of the sales in the second half of the season, ie FH 2013 will be corn, they add.