EU Grains Close

27/04/11 -- EU grains closed sharply lower across the board with May London wheat down GBP4.90/tonne to GBP207.10/tonne and with new crop Nov falling GBP5.40/tonne to GBP174.60/tonne. May Paris wheat fell EUR7.75/tonne to EUR245.75/tonne and Nov was EUR9.00/tonne lower to EUR220.00/tonne. Paris corn, rapeseed and malting barley also declined.

Germany got some fairly widespread rains today, which are moving slowly east and expected to hit the SE of England on Friday. Whilst not the torrential downpour that many would have liked, localised falls were reported to be quite heavy in places.

In the US the weather has also taken a turn for the better, with much-needed rain and cooler temperatures on the cards for Kansas. Some forecasts also indicate a possible drying out period ahead for the soaked northern Plains too.

The US markets were weak ahead of a "groundbreaking" news conference by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke later in the afternoon. That is also keeping the dollar weak, as the market anticipates the US continuing with a fairly loose fiscal policy relative to Europe's.

That saw the euro set a fresh 16-month high against the US dollar and the pound hover around 1.6550 for most of the day, close to it's own 16-month high set late last week.

That obviously gives US wheat the upper hand when it comes to export competitiveness.

Conflicting reports continue to come out of Russia regarding the potential timing of a lifting of the existing export embargo. Gossip emerging from Ukraine suggests that a fairly imminent lifting of their grain export ban, at least for corn, isn't too far away.