EU Grains Mostly Lower On The Day, And For The Week

17/04/15 -- EU grains were mixed, but mostly a little lower on the day. Rapeseed again bucked the trend, and was the only commodity to post a net weekly gain.

The session ended with May 15 London wheat down GBP0.35/tonne at GBP115.30/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat was down EUR0.50/tonne at EUR182.75/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn fell EUR1.25/tonne to EUR162.75/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.50/tonne to close at EUR374.00/tonne.

For the week, London wheat fell GBP5.20/tonne, or 4.3%, with Paris wheat down EUR7.50/tonne, or 3.9%. Paris corn lost a more modest EUR1.50/tonne, or less than 1%, and Paris rapeseed rose EUR4.25/tonne, or 1.3%, versus last Friday.

The spread between old crop and new crop London wheat continues to widen, finishing at GBP10.40/tonne tonight, up from GBP9.75/tonne last week and GBP8.80/tonne at the beginning of the month. It's clearly the old crop that's under pressure for the time being.

As mentioned previously, wheat carryover stocks are seen much higher in Europe at the end of the season than they were a year ago - despite exports running at record levels. The firm US dollar means that their export campaign has been a poor one in 2014/15, so their stocks are higher too. In Russia, bumper production last year, and the introduction of the Feb 1 export duty on wheat, also means that they will begin 2015/16 with much higher stocks than a year ago.

Rosstat reported that Russian grain stocks held in commercial hands as of Apr 1 were 22.7 MMT, up 17.3% compared with a year previously. Grain harvesting and processing organisations were sitting on 29.5% more inventory than a year ago, including 20.6% more wheat.

The Russians have now stated that a decision on whether to alter, cancel or prolong the export duty on wheat won't be made any earlier than mid-June.

Meanwhile spring grain planting is about 6.4% complete on 2 million ha in Russia, down from the 2.2 million ha that had been sown this time a year ago.

Ukraine has also planted 2 million ha of early spring grains, which in their case is 86% of the planned area. The majority of that is spring barley, which has been sown on 1.5 million ha, or 85% of government expectations. Ukraine’s statistics agency said Ukraine’s April 1st grain stocks were 16.2 MMT, up 33% from a year ago

Corn planting is also now underway in Ukraine, with an estimated 2% of the 2015 crop now in the ground. Agritel say that most analysts are predicting the Ukraine corn planted area to decline 5-8% this year, estimating plantings themselves at 4.4 million ha, a 6.4% fall compared to 4.7 million ha a year ago.

They also forecast the EU 2015 corn crop at 66 MMT, down 10.8% on last year's record 74 MMT. French sowing is expected to make further rapid progress next week if the weather forecast for warm and dry conditions holds true, they said.

FranceAgriMer today said that a quarter of the anticipated French corn crop was planted in the week through to Apr 13, taking the total area sown to 27%, although that's still down on 35% complete this time a year ago.

French spring barley planting has been finished for a few weeks now, and the crop is 100% emerged and 46% at the early tillering stage versus 18% a week ago and 41% this time last year.

As far as crop conditions go, 92% of French winter wheat is rated good to very good, up a point on a week ago and 17 points ahead of this time last year. Winter barley ratings were unchanged on last week at 91% good to very good versus only 74% at this point in 2014. Spring barley is seen at 96% good to very good, unchanged on last week and up from only 77% this time last year.

In other news, Reuters reported that Germany would load a 60,000 MT wheat cargo destined for Iran next week. The Middle Eastern nation has become a major buyer of German wheat over the last 6 months after Western sanctions against them were relaxed.