EU Grains Close Firday

15/04/16 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, with one or two minor exceptions, and narrowly mixed for the week. The latter theme highlighting the lack of direction in the market right now.

At the finish, front month May 16 London wheat was down GBP0.05/tonne at GBP104.10/tonne, May 16 Paris wheat was EUR2.50/tonne easier at EUR151.25/tonne, Jun 16 corn was up EUR0.50/tonne to EUR156.75/tonne and May 16 rapeseed fell EUR3.25/tonne at EUR368.50/tonne.

For the week, that puts London wheat GBP2.10/tonne weaker, with Paris wheat shedding EUR3.00/tonne, corn gaining EUR1.75/tonne and rapeseed adding a quarter of a euro.

European wheat exports have maybe fared a bit better than expected this season, although carryover volumes from 2014/15 are still high. The outlook for bumper production again in 2016/17 will likely cap gains for the time being.

Thee re are legitimate concerns over the size of this year's Ukraine wheat crop due to late planting and adverts winter weather. APK Inform agency peg winter wheat sowings in Ukraine down 14%, with production of around 21.5% - down 37 compared to 2015's crop. Some of this decrease will be compensated for by increased planting and production of corn in Ukraine this year.

The jury is still out on Russia, but losses are not thought likely to be so extreme.

In France, winter wheat crop condition ratings were left unchanged on a week ago at 92% good to very good with 99% of the crop now displaying an ear of at least 1cm. Winter barley is 91% good to very good and 92% with an ear of at least 1cm visible. Spring barley is 96% emerged. Corn planting is 4% done versus 17% complete this time last year.

Demand for North Africa and elsewhere remains pretty strong, but competition for this business is usually fiercely fought over. Euro weakness is an assist in this department.

The US 2016 wheat harvest will soon be upon us, and that has also escaped the worst of the winter based on current crop ratings.

US growers traditionally have "longer pockets" than their FWU counterparts, the latter can't await for the market to "come to them" and must be in their pitching aggressively from Day 1.

Look for wheat to grind lower heading into harvest pressure...