EU Wheat Ends Narrowly Mixed

EU wheat futures closed narrowly mixed Friday with Paris January milling wheat futures up EUR0.25 at EUR131.25/tonne and London March feed wheat down GBP0.20 at GBP110.15/tonne.

Considering the air of nervous uncertainty in the global financial markets on talk of possible Dubai debt defaults, it was a very respectable performance by wheat.

The dollar was stronger across the board as it usually is in such times, which helped EU wheat.

The markets were however pretty thin with the US CBOT only open to trade a shortened session Friday afternoon. Many participants were likely missing from their desks on the other side of the water following Thursday's Thanksgiving Day holiday.

We may get a more clearer direction next week when things return to normal, once we get past first notice day and month-end on Monday. On Monday night the USDA will also report on US soybean and corn harvest progress, together with winter wheat plantings.

The EU granted export licenses for 310,000 MT of soft wheat for the week ended Nov 24th, bringing the total volume of licenses granted to 7.1 MMT, 26% down on the 9.6 MMT exported at the same time last year.

Cumulative grain imports however are also sharply down at 4.1 MMT, 29% lower than the 5.8 MMT imported during the 2008/09 marketing year.

News coming out of Australia suggests that yields and quality this season will be down on what was expected a month or two back. A combination of a September freeze, a November heatwave and recent heavy rains are likely to produce a crop of 21 MMT, say the National Australia Bank, that's 2 MMT below their October prediction.