EU Grains Mostly Lower, Dollar Strength Supports Paris Wheat

15/12/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, but mostly lower. Dollar strength - on the day before the Fed is fairly widely expected to begin raising US interest rates - may have helped provide a bit of support for Paris wheat today with eurozone wheat set to potentially pick up extra export business on the back of a firmer greenback.

At the finish, Jan 16 London wheat was down GBP0.20/tonne at GBP112.20/tonne, Mar 16 Paris wheat was up EUR3.25/tonne to EUR178.75/tonne, Jan 16 corn was EUR4.25/tonne lower at EUR165.00/tonne and Feb 16 rapeseed was also EUR4.25/tonne lower to EUR371.75/tonne.

The latest figures from HMRC show that UK wheat exports topped those of imports for the first time this season in October - albeit not by a huge amount. Exports of 195.3 TMT in October were also the largest of the season so far, beating imports of 137.4 TMT.

That;'s probably not that much to write home about, season to date exports are 518 TMT - similar to the level of a year previously. The top buyer so far this season is Spain (181.5 TMT), followed by the Netherlands (169.6 TMT) and Portugal (104.3 TMT).

UK barley exports in October topped 100 TMT, taking the season to date total to close on that for wheat at 498 TMT.

Algeria's recent purchase of optional origin wheat, originally reported as 500-600 TMT, was perhaps more like 800 TMT traders said. It's also being suggested that at least one or two cargoes of that may have been of Argentine origin, although the bulk was probably French.

Rusagrotrans said that Russia would export 3.4 MMT of grains this month, up 14% from a year ago. That will include 2.6 MMT of wheat (76.5% of total grain shipments), 300 TMT of barley and 450 TMT of corn, they suggest.

If correct, that would take exports for the first half of the 2015/16 season (Jul/Dec) to a new record 21.09 MMT, just beating last year's total of 20.91 MMT for the same period.

Wheat exports Jul/Dec might therefore total 16.22 MMT, or 76.9% of all grain shipments, down a little from 16.36 MMT a year ago. Barley exports are seen totalling 2.98 MMT against 3.23 MMT a year ago. Corn exports could rise to 1.77 MMT from 1.11 MMT in Dec 2014.

The Russian Ag Ministry today raised their estimate for this season's final grain production to 103.4 MMT in clean weight from 101.5 MMT previously, but still down marginally from last year's record 105.3 MMT.

They forecast Russia's 2016/17 grain production at 104 MMT, of which 60.4 MMT will be wheat.

Lanworth Inc estimated Russia's 2016/17 wheat crop at 58.5 MMT.

Ukraine said that they'd shipped out 1.28 MMT of rapeseed in the Jul/Nov period, or 91% of their entire exportable surplus. The EU took 79% of those exports, with France (448.2 TMT) the top home here followed by Belgium (254.3 TMT) and Portugal (186.9 TMT).