EU Grains End Lower Across The Board

14/01/15 -- EU grains closed lower across the board, in what looks like a general commodity exodus as investment money switches into equities.

Jan 15 London wheat ended down GBP3.20/tonne at GBP125.0/tonne, Mar 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.50/tonne lower at EUR192.00/tonne, Mar 15 Paris corn was down EUR2.50/tonne at EUR157.00/tonne and Feb 15 Paris rapeseed fell EUR1.75/tonne to EUR355.25/tonne.

Crude oil slumped to a new near 6-year low today, just a few days after one well-known Saudi prince said that $100/barrel would never be seen again - a bold statement considering that it was above that level less than 6 months ago.

Reports out of Ukraine indicate that at yesterday's "routine" meeting between the government and grain trading houses it was "agreed" to limit milling wheat exports for the remainder of the season to 1.2 MMT.

Of that total the Ag Ministry only want no more than 400 TMT to be shipped out between now and March 15th, when a better grasp can be had on the health, or otherwise, of the country's winter wheat crop. Provided that conditions are assessed as "good" then the remaining 800 TMT of that quota can then be shipped.

What proportion of the crop needs to be "good" for that to happen is unclear. Current estimates have around 18-20% of the crop in a poor condition.

Agritel report a new Ukraine all wheat export objective of 12 MMT, of which the Ministry said earlier in the week that 8.34 MMT has been shipped already. They also report on a barley export target of 4.2 MMT (3.72 MMT shipped already) and a corn aim of 20.2 MMT (versus 7.77 MMT shipped so far).

Rusagrotrans said that Russia exported 3.15 MMT of grain in December, and that will fall to around 1.5 MMT this month. Jul/Dec exports are 21.1 MMT (+29% versus a year ago), including 16.5 MMT of wheat (78% of that total), 3.2 MMT of barley (15%) and 1.1 MMT of corn (5%).

Wheat exports after the end of the month are expected to be negligible once the new export duty kicks in.

The Russian Ministry for Economic Development said that inflation there will peak at 15-17% in March/April. It stood at 11.4% at the end of December, up from 9.1% in November.

The UK imported 231.4 TMT of corn in November, up 25% versus October and 4% higher than in November 2013. France (160.9 TMT) was the largest supplier.

That takes Jul/Nov corn imports to 717.3 TMT, a 3% fall versus the same period a year previously. Again France (331.1 TMT) was the principal supplier.

The volume of corn imported in November outstrips the size of wheat exports (206.5 TMT), where Spain (94.8 TMT) was the top home.

FranceAgriMer raised their forecast for French soft wheat exports to non-EU destinations from 8.5 MMT to 8.8 MMT.