A firmer sterling outlook, and the knowledge that UK feed wheat prices are already among the most expensive in the world, leans bearish for London wheat.
Paris wheat meanwhile remains in a sideways to modestly upwards trend helped by euro weakness which is fostering ideas that exports from other nations than France (such as Germany) will be more buoyant in the second half of the season than the market had been expecting.
EU soft wheat exports have certainly looked like they are slowing up this past couple of weeks though. Cumulative exports to date stand at 15.76 MMT, up by only around 81 TMT on a week ago, a net downturn of 11% from 17.642 MT at the same point in 2015/16. EU total all wheat exports for the full season are estimated by the USDA to decline 26.5%, so a second half downturn is certainly to be expected.
Trade attention is also starting to focus on 2017/18. According to the February issue of the JRC MARS crop monitoring bulletin for Europe, this winter is finishing with no major constraints to winter crops.
"Rain would be welcomed in large parts of southern Germany, southern Sweden, the Czech Republic and the Baltic countries, to restore soil water reserves and groundwater as spring approaches," they say.
"These regions have recorded a persistent rain deficit, with less than 10 mm of precipitation during the analysis period. Nevertheless, these dry conditions generally do not present an immediate concern for crops," they note.
"Frost-kill damage remains limited despite a persistent cold spell throughout January in central and eastern Europe, which has led to minimum temperatures of around -15°C, and reaching values below -20°C in many areas," they add.
Ukraine exported 28.65 MMT of grains in 2016/17 to February 22, report UkrAgroConsult. This volume included 13.33 MMT of wheat, 10.53 MMT of corn and 4.64 MMT of barley.
Egypt's GASC said that they'd signed an agreement to import 360,000 MT of Russian and Ukrainian wheat for Mar 21 - Apr 1 shipment. The cheapest Russian price reported was $196.50/tonne FOB versus $195.90 FOB for the Ukraine origin material.
The IGC were unchanged on their global 2016/17 wheat production forecast from a month ago at 752 MMT. They did however up corn output again, this time by 4 MMT to 1049 MMT.
"Conditions for 2017/18 winter crops in the northern hemisphere remained mostly favourable. Only a small fall in all-wheat harvested area is anticipated, but with a projected drop in average yields, the next world harvest is seen retreating by 2% y/y (year-on-year)," they added.