EU Wheat Narrowly Mixed, Direction Needed

10/09/13 -- EU grains closed narrowly mixed, with the market hoping for some much-needed direction in Thursday's upcoming USDA WASDE report.

Nov 13 London wheat settled GBP0.25/tonne easier at GBP154.50/tonne whilst Jan 14 was GBP0.20/tonne firmer at GBP156.95/tonne. Nov 13 Paris milling wheat stumbled EUR0.50/tonne higher to close at EUR187.75/tonne.

Egypt were back in the market again for wheat, their tenth tender of 2013/14 and the fifth in the past fortnight. They are looking for wheat for Nov 1-10 and 11-20 shipment, with the results expected later this evening. They've already bought 2 MMT of wheat since they re-entered the market in July, and now say that they have sufficient supplies to last them through to mid-February, although they haven't bought anything beyond November yet.

French wheat offers have been getting a bit closer to Black Sea wheat in recent Egyptian tenders, although Romanian and Ukraine origin will probably be the favourites again.

UkrAgroConsult increased their forecast for the Ukraine grain crop from 53.8 MMT to a new record 56 MMT today. That total includes record corn output of 25.5 MMT, along with 21 MMT of wheat and 7.23 MMT of barley.

Ukraine FOB grain prices are amongst the cheapest in the world at the moment: 12% milling wheat USD245-248/tonne; 11% milling wheat USD235-240/tonne; feed wheat USD227-230/tonne; corn USD190-195/tonne.

The Russian grain harvest now stands at 66.8 MMT off 63% of the planned area. Wheat accounts for 41.8 MMT of that off 62.2% of plan, along with 13 MMT of barley off 71% of plan.

According to Russian customs data they exported 3.48 MMT of grain in August versus 2.75 MMT in August a year ago. Of that total 3 MMT was wheat. That takes their 2013/14 grain exports to date to 6.42 MMT, up 20% versus 12 months ago.

The Kazakh grain harvest stands at just over 6 MMT off 32.3% of plan. That makes the Ministry estimate for full production of "only" 15 MMT look too low.

Australia's ABARES cut their forecast for wheat production there to 24.5 MMT from a previous estimate of 25.4 MMT, although that's still up 11% on last year. Lack of rain in WA, NWS and QLD is to blame. In traditionally the top producing state of WA they cut their estimate from 8.8 MMT to 7.3 MMT, although that was largely compensated for by a rise in output in SA from the previously forecast 4.1 MMT to 5.2 MMT.

Despite the near 1 MMT cut in production, they only trimmed their 2013/14 wheat export forecast by 100 TMT to a pretty robust 19.5 MMT. They pegged the coming year's barley crop at 7.7 MMT versus 6.8 MMT a year ago and OSR output was seen at 3.31 MMT versus 4.1 MMT last year.