EU Grains Close

01/04/11 -- May London wheat closed GBP2.50/tonne lower at GBP199.50/tonne with new crop Nov down GBP0.05 to GBP167.50/tonne. May Paris wheat fell EUR0.25/tonne to EUR239.75/tonne whilst Nov was down EUR0.25/tonne to EUR212.75/tonne.

On the week as a whole May London wheat was up GBP2.25/tonne whilst Nov rose GBP5.75/tonne. May Paris milling wheat climbed EUR3.00/tonne with Nov rising EUR5.75/tonne.

US corn futures were limit up for the second session in a row, lending support to EU grains, following yesterday's bullish USDA data. Front month June Paris corn rose EUR4.25/tonne today, adding to yesterday's EUR7.75/tonne gains.

In the UK, ADAS say that the exceptionally dry March and recent warmer weather places crop development ahead of last year. Around 40% of the spring barley is now in the ground nationally, with plantings 85-95% complete in the south, they say.

Showers are expected over the weekend and early next week all across most of Europe, which should improve conditions in the UK, northern France and Germany.

Copa-Cogeca peg the EU-27 wheat crop at 138 MMT, up 2.3% from 134.9 MMT last season. The UK will account for 15.8 MMT of that, a 6.3% increase, they say. Dutch analysts Hoofdproductschap Akkerbouw estimate the EU-27 wheat crop even higher at 140.62 MMT, placing UK production at 16.11 MMT, 8.6% up on 2010.

EU-27 exports meanwhile continue unabated, with Brussels issuing soft wheat export licences for 480,000 MT in the past week, bringing the marketing year-to-date total to 15.4 MMT, up 15% on a year ago. Once again France picked up the lion's share accounting for 323.500 MT of the weekly total.

Durum wheat exports are 136% up on year ago levels at 1.3 MMT and EU barley exports stand more than four times higher than in 2009/10 at 3.7 MMT.