EU Grains Little Changed Amid Lack Of News

17/11/16 -- EU grains closed mostly a smidgen higher on the day, amid a general lack of fresh news. A weak euro helped Paris grains a little today.

The day ended with Nov 16 London wheat unchanged at GBP139.05/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR164.75/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn rose half a euro to EUR164.50/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed was up EUR0.25/tonne to EUR392.50/tonne.

The pound closed at close to 1.17 versus the euro - it's best level in two months - capping any potential for rises in London wheat.

Algeria's reported 400 TMT purchase of wheat yesterday was re-reported as 580 TMT today. The exact origins bought are unknown, but traders say German and Baltic wheat almost certainly figured, and possibly even French material despite their woes. US wheat keeps getting a mention, but we will maybe have to wait until next week's USDA weekly export sales report for confirmation of that one.

Another origin that may have featured is Argentine wheat, although some say that this will struggle to meet Algeria's strict import quality criteria.

French analysts Strategie Grains forecast virtually no change to the area EU-28 farmers will sow with soft wheat, barley and corn for the 2017 harvest. They place soft wheat plantings at 24.3 million ha (24.2 million a year ago), barley area at 12.4 million ha and the area given over to corn at 8.8 million ha.

They placed EU-28 soft wheat production for 2016 at 135.7 MMT, down 0.2 MMT from previously. Barley output is seen at 59.7 MMT (unchanged) and corn production was lowered 0.2 MMT to 59.6 MMT.

Brussels have changed the way they report EU grain exports, now reporting on shipment volumes themselves rather than the amount of export licences issued.

This week's soft wheat total was 346 TMT, up 19% on a week ago, taking the total volume so far this season to 8.96 MMT (8.17 MMT a year ago). France's share was 16.5% of the weekly total.

Barley exports came in at 113 TMT, up 43% from a dismal effort last week. France picked up just 1.5% of that. That takes the cumulative barley export total for the season to 1.635 MMT. Season to date corn imports are running at 3.1 MMT versus 3.6 MMT this time a year ago.

Russia announced that their 2016 grain harvest is 95.9% complete at 122.3 MMT. That includes 75.8 MMT of wheat (98.1% done) and 19.1 MMT of barley (97.2% done). Corn harvesting is 71.6% complete at 11.9 MMT. Winter grain planting for 2017 is now said to be 99.3% done on 17.2 million ha (versus 16.3 million a year year ago at this time).

Ukraine said that in the first four months of the 2016/17 marketing year (Jul/Oct) they had exported 14.76 MMT of grains, including 8.96 MMT of wheat, 3.73 MMT of barley and 2.0 MMT of corn.

Export potential for the remainder of the season is 26.3 MMT, giving total 2016/17 exports of around 41 MMT, according to the Ministry of Economic Development.