EU Grains Mixed, French Export Estimates Raised

16/06/15 -- EU grains closed mixed. London wheat was mostly a little lower as the pound firmed against both the US dollar and euro today. In Paris, wheat and corn were a touch higher and rapeseed was flat despite the outlook for lower production this year.

At the close Jul 15 London wheat was down GBP0.05/tonne at GBP115.25/tonne, Sep 15 Paris was EUR0.50/tonne higher at EUR176.75/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was up EUR1.00/tonne at EUR162.50/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed was unchanged at EUR371.00/tonne.

FranceAgriMer raised their forecast for French soft wheat exports this season from 18.26 MMT to 18.92 MMT, including an increase in exports to non-EU destinations from 10.6 MMT to 11.1 MMT.

These increased sales trim French soft wheat ending stocks from the 3.59 MMT forecast a month ago to 2.98 MMT.

They also raised their estimates for French corn and barley exports this season, The former are now seen at 7.54 MMT (from 7.09 MMT previously), and the latter were upped to 6.67 MMT from 6.32 MMT. That means that ending stocks for both were trimmed, with corn carryout now seen at 3.36 MMT (from 3.8 MMT previously) and barley inventories at 962 TMT from 1.29 MMT last month.

French barley exports this season have been boosted by strong interest from China, and this is seen continuing into at least the early part of 2015/16, they said.

Oil World cut 1.2 MMT off their previous forecast for the global rapeseed crop in 2015, now pegging that at 66 MMT. That's now 2.5 MMT below the current USDA estimate and 3.2 MMT down on last year.

The reason for the cut was dryness in parts of Europe, Australia and Canada, as well as frost damage in Canada around a month ago.

Last week ABARES pegged Australian canola plantings at 2.35 million ha, down 400k ha, or 14%, on a year ago. Yesterday they estimated Australia's 2015/16 canola exports at 2.18 MMT, down 11.3% from a year ago and the lowest since 2010/11.

A Thompson Reuters crop tour of France recently concluded that rapeseed yields there could be down 10-15% in the normally most productive Centre region due to spring dryness, and said that any rain relief now might still help wheat yields but would probably do little for rapeseed.

That tour has now moved on to the Poitou-Charentes area, in the centre west of France, which they say is responsible for around 7% of French wheat production, 5% of the French rapeseed crop, and 9% of French corn.

They said that no lower than 11.5% protein wheat is expected in this area this year, and that whilst the recent warm and dry weather may have had an adverse impact on grain fill, it should actually have helped protein levels.

Around 85% of the wheat crop in the area should be cut by 25 July, they said. Corn in the region is currently looking good, but with about 50% of the crop non-irrigated summer rainfall is a key determining factor in final yields, they noted.

Rusagrotrans said that Russia's total grain exports this season, including those to Kazakhstan which aren't included in official government data, could reach a record 31.9 MMT. Exports in the coming season could be similar at around 30-32 MMT, they added.

Russia's June grain exports were estimated at 1.6 MMT, including 1.1 MMT of wheat, they said.

They also raised their forecast for the 2015/16 Russian grain crop from 97-98 MMT to 99-100 MMT. That includes 57.3 MMT of wheat, a 4.1% drop on last year, along with 17.1 MMT of barley (down 16.1%) and 11.8 MMT of corn (up 4.4%).