EU Grains End Mostly A Tad Lower

16/10/13 -- EU grains closed mixed but mostly a tad lower on the day, with Nov 13 London wheat settling GBP0.15/tonne weaker at EUR163.20/tonne, whilst Jan 14 was down GBP0.50/tonne at GBP164.45/tonne. Nov 13 Paris milling wheat was EUR1.25/tonne lower at EUR198.25/tonne whilst Nov 13 Paris rapeseed jumped EUR6.00/tonne to EUR377.50/tonne.

The Russian grain harvest now stands at 84.8 MMT off 87% of the planned area, that includes 51.5 MMT of wheat (off 91% of plan), 15.4 MMT of barley (off 89%), 4.0 MMT of corn (off 31%) and 4.7 MMT of sunseed (off 35%).

Of at least as much interest, if not more, is that winter plantings for the 2014 harvest have progressed 2.1 million hectares in a week to 11.2 million hectares (68.5% of the original target). The weather forecast for the days ahead is conducive for further significant fieldwork advancement.

Rusagrotrans said that Russia's grain exports in October will fall to 1.8-2.2 MMT, versus 2.88 MMT in September, but could pick up again in November now that better prices are achievable.

The Russian government bought just under 30 TMT of 2013 grains, mostly wheat but also including around 7,500 MT of barley, for their intervention fund again today.

Customs data shows that the UK imported over 255 TMT of wheat in August, bringing the 2013/14 year to date cumulative total to almost 584 TMT versus 358 TMT in the same period in 2012/13. Imports are however expected to drop off sharply from now onwards, as was suggested by the HGCA at yesterday's Outlook Conference.

China's COFCO pooh-poohed talk of wheat imports of up to 10 MMT this season, with a forecast of only 3-5 MMT - a volume which they are thought to have already have bought more than. Talk of potential drought damage to developing winter wheat there has also been played down.

Whilst the trade is still starved of information from US government bodies, a report on Reuters today suggested that a decision will be made by the end of the week whether or not the USDA will release their October WASDE report originally scheduled for last Friday.

It was also interesting to hear the HGCA note that we are switching from an era of relative transparency in the US grain markets, to one of more information coming from less reliable international sources as the global balance of power shifts.

Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and India for example now control a much larger percentage of global wheat exports than they did ten years ago, whilst China (supposedly) accounts for some very large percentages of world wheat and corn inventories.