EU Grains Mostly Lower To Start The Week

09/09/13 -- EU grains were mostly lower to start the week, although there wasn't a great deal of conviction either way. London wheat seems comfortable, at least for now, trading in the mid-150's, and Paris wheat likewise in the upper 180's.

At the close Nov 13 London wheat settled GBP0.30/tonne easier at GBP154.75/tonne, and Jan 14 was EUR0.75/tonne lower at GBP156.75/tonne. Nov 13 Paris milling wheat fell EUR1.50/tonne to EUR187.25/tonne and Nov 13 Paris rapeseed slumped EUR7.50/tonne to EUR374.50/tonne.

As the UK harvest enters the home stretch it's time to evaluate the quality of this year's crops. All in all they look far better than many had dared hope for back in the spring.

As far as the wheat crop is concerned, "dry conditions at harvest have resulted in some of the highest Hagbergs recorded in the past few years," the HGCA said today. They did however note that a large proportion of the samples tested so far come from Eastern England and amongst predominately group 1 and group 2 varieties.

“As harvest progresses and more nabim group 3 and 4 samples are included in the wheat analysis, there will be changes to the wheat data," they said of the current average test results of Hagbergs averaging at 334 and specific weights of 77.8 kg/hl. Protein content is lower than last year at 12.4%, but above the 3 year average of 12.1%, and moisture levels have averaged 14.8%, they said.

Meanwhile barley (both winter and spring varieties combined) specific weights of 67.9 kg/hl are "a marked improvement on last year, but also ranks as one of the highest weights in the past 8 years," they added.

The latest statics from Defra show 512 TMT of wheat was milled in the UK during the first 4 weeks of 2013/14 (to Jul 27), up 3.2% versus the same period in 2012. The volume of imported wheat used was up 220% versus a decline in home produced of almost 26%. Overall the proportion of home produced wheat used in the grist dropped from 88% in Jul 2012 to 63% in Jul 2013.

Barley usage by the brewing, distilling and malt industries in the period was up 13.7% to 156 TMT.

The Czech Stats Office today raised their forecast for the 2013 grain crop there from 6.53 MMT to 6.75 MMT, a near 20% increase on last year. They have wheat production up 31% to 4.61 MMT, with yields rising 29% on a year ago. The OSR crop is seen 29% higher than last year at a record 1.42 MMT, largely due to a 23% jump in yields. Barley production is seen little change from a year ago at 1.6 MMT despite yields being 8% higher.

What's left of the Russian, Kazakh, Romanian and Ukraine harvests have all been slowed by heavy rain. "Almost all of Romania, the centre of Ukraine, and a large part of the west Russia, have received large rains during the last 15 days. Drier weather is forecast for the beginning of the week, but that will become again rainy by the end of the week over Rumania and Ukraine," said Agritel.

The Russian grain harvest has now reached 60% complete, producing 64.7 MMT so far, with average yields up almost 26% at 1.86 MT/ha. The wheat crop now stands at 41.1 MMT off 60.5% of the planned area, with average yields 41% higher than a year ago at 2.71 MT/ha. They've also produced 12.8 MMT of barley off 69.6% of the planned area, along with 968 TMT of sunseed off 5.7% of the plan and 517 TMT of corn off 4.4% of plan.

The Kazakh grain harvest meanwhile is only around 25% complete to date. The Ukraine sunseed harvest is seen 21% complete, along with 8% of the soybean crop. They and Romania will soon be moving onto harvesting corn.