EU Grains Lower With USDA Data Released Late In Session

12/01/15 -- EU grains were mostly lower in subdued trade ahead of today's USDA WASDE and quarterly stocks report due at 5pm London time. They will also give us their thoughts on US winter wheat plantings then too.

At the close, Jan 15 London wheat was down GBP2.00/tonne at GBP129.20/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR2.50/tonne lower at EUR192.25/tonne, Mar 15 Paris corn was EUR0.50/tonne easier at EUR162.25/tonne and Feb 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR5.50/tonne weaker at EUR355.75/tonne.

Fresh news of any particular note is scare ahead of tonight's USDA announcements.

The Ukraine Ministry said that they had no plans to restrict grain exports, and that tomorrow's scheduled meeting with traders there was simply part of its normal routine to discuss things for the year ahead. We shall see if that's true in due course.

They may seek "voluntary" agreements with the trading houses concerned, who will be very keen to agree to whatever it takes to obtain the appropriate VAT refunds on grains that have already been exported this season. The government recently proposed to cancel this arrangement.

Inflation in Ukraine officially hit 24.8% at the end of December.

The Ukraine Ministry said that the country had exported 19.6 MMT of grains so far this season, to Jan 6, including 8.16 MMT of wheat, 3.63 MMT of barley and 7.66 MT of corn.

The USDA's December WASDE report had them down to export 10.3 MMT of wheat in 2014/15, along with 2.7 MMT of barley and 16.5 MMT of corn. That means that they've already shipped out 79%, 135% and 46% respectively of those volumes already.

The Ukraine Ministry said that they had shipped all 1 MMT of corn in a contract signed with China in October, contrary to reports around a month ago that they may default on up to 20% of that deal.

Russian banks are said to have ended 2014 lending 22% less money to farmers to carryout fieldwork on winter crops than a year ago. That's a large number when you consider that they are talking in roubles, given the demise of domestic currency. If they were to have lent the same amount in real rouble terms then farmer borrowing should be up 50% year-on-year

Kazakhstan said that it had no plans to introduce grain export restrictions/duties. Their crop came in at 18.9 MMT this year, or 17 MMT in clean weight, leaving around 7 MMT available for export, according to the local Ag Ministry.

India's state-owned wheat stocks are 25.1 MMT, which is three times the government's minimum buffer requirement. Harvesting of new crop starts in March. Plantings for that are 2% down versus this time a year ago at 29.93 million ha.

Egypt said that after last week's purchase of French wheat they now have enough wheat bought to last them until the first week of May.

Bangladesh are tendering for 50 TMT of wheat. The USDA's FAS forecast that the country will import 3 MMT of wheat this season, down slightly on the 3.3 MMT shipped in last season.

Late in the day, the USDA raised their outlook on EU wheat exports this season by 1 MMT to 30 MMT. Russia's were lowered 2 MMT to 20 MMT. Ukraine's and Kazakhstan's were increased by 700 TMT and 200 TMT respectively.

They also nudged higher the size of the 2014/15 EU-28 wheat crop from 155.4 MMT to 155.5 MMT.