Grain Drops Keep Falling On My Head

Our good buddies the Ukraine Ag Ministry have cut their 2010/11 grain crop estimate to 42 MMT, from last week's punt of 45-45.5 MMT. That's a 12.5% decline on last season's output and more than 20% down on the previous year. The harvest is progressing slowly, dogged by heavy rains, at only 5.8 MMT they add.

That suggests a wheat crop of only 17.5 MMT, well below the USDA's misplaced optimism.

Meanwhile French analysts Strategie Grains have joined the party, cutting their EU-27 soft wheat crop estimate by 3.6 MMT to 129.5 MMT, with durum wheat production also cut to 8.3 MMT, that gives us an EU-27 all wheat crop of 137.80 MMT. That's less than last year, despite higher plantings.

They also cut their EU-27 barley production estimate by 1.5 MMT to 54.1 MMT, 13% down on 2009.

Waiting in the wings is the EU-27 corn crop, which Strategie Grains now estimate at 58.1 MMT, a bit better than last year's crop.

Many of these production losses have been on the cards for some time if you ask me, yet the market only seems to be reacting to them now that the harvest is upon us.

From what I am hearing, the EU corn crop number could also come in significantly lower than current estimates once we get closer to that particular harvest.