EU Grains Mixed To Start The Week, FSU Wetness Concerns Remain

30/09/13 -- EU grains closed mixed with Nov 13 London wheat settling GBP0.50/tonne firmer at EUR156.75/tonne and Jan 14 GBP0.20/tonne lower at GBP158.80/tonne. Nov 13 Paris milling wheat was down EUR0.25/tonne to EUR193.25/tonne whilst Nov 13 Paris rapeseed fell EUR3.50/tonne to EUR363.75/tonne.

A USDA stocks/crop report came out too late in the day to influence the European markets too much.

Continued wetness in Russia/Ukraine was one of the other main talking points in the market today. As of Friday the Russian grain harvest is only 76% complete, producing a crop of 76.9 MMT to date. That includes 47.8 MMT of wheat off 78.4% of plan, 14.7 MMT of barley (off 81.7% of plan) and 1.6 MMT of corn (off 13.5% of plan). A week ago the grain harvest was at 70.1%, with wheat 71.2% cut, barley 77.6% done and corn 10.4% harvested, so it's clear to see that things haven't advanced much in the last 7 days.

The Ukraine harvest is 71% complete, producing 35.766 MMT to date. Corn harvesting is only 11% done at 2.77 MMT.

The severely delayed harvest and incessant rain is also badly affecting the planting of crops for 2014. Winter grains planting in Russia was only 46.7% complete as of Friday at 7.6 million hectares. A year ago Russian growers had planted 11.4 million ha of winter crops - 50% more than now.

In Ukraine winter grains are only 22% planted at 1.825 million hectares, including 25% of the planned winter wheat area.

The President of the Ukraine Agrarian Confederation (UAC) said that around 3 million hectares of the planned 8 million ha of winter grains may go unplanted this year due to the weather. That total would include 2 million ha of winter wheat.

Russian analysts ProZerno cut their forecast for the domestic grain crop to 90 MMT, comprising nearly 51 MMT of wheat, 15.5 MMT of barley and 9.8 MMT of corn due to excessive wetness. Grain exports in 2013/14 could total 23 MMT, including 16 MMT of wheat (versus 11 MMT in 2012/13), they said.

"Conditions have become excessively wet in European Russia the past 2-3 weeks, interfering with the planting of winter grains.  Areas of Ukraine and Russia have received 4-6 times the normal rainfall," said Martell Crop Projections. It's also cold. "Low-mid 50s F for maximum temperatures and mid-upper 30s F at night. That barely meets the threshold for wheat growth and development as 41 F (5 C) is required to stimulate growth as a mean daily temperature," they add.

In other news Ukraine said that they'd exported 5.7 MMT of grains so far this season (started July 1st), up 10.3% on a year ago, including 3.5 MMT of wheat. They will need to pick up the pace a little if they are to export the planned 26 MMT this season (versus 23 MMT a year ago).

The UAC President said that the current planting problems may lead to government to consider some form of export restrictions later in the current season.

Tunisia are tendering for 75 TMT of milling wheat and 50 TMT of barley of optional origin for Oct/Nov shipment in a tender.

Ensus are reported to be back up and running producing bioethanol at their Wilton facility, increasing the demand for wheat in the north east.

ADAS said that the UK 2013 harvest is almost finished, with only bits and pieces of wheat, barley and oats left to be cut, along with about 10% of the spring OSR crop.

"Harvest 2013 started late, with slow early progress, but good weather in late August coincided with peak crop maturity and led to a record weekly clearance rate, bringing the end of harvest in line with the 5 year average," they added.

Spanish wheat and corn imports fell in July due to bumper crop production there, according to the latest customs and excise numbers. The country imported 305 TMT of wheat in July versus 442 TMT in the corresponding month of last year, and also only 218 TMT of corn against 346 TMT in July 2012.