EU Grains Slump

17/11/11 -- EU grains finished slumped lower (with the exception of malting barley) with Nov 11 London wheat down GBP2.25/tonne to GBP145.05/tonne and Jan 12 Paris wheat falling EUR3.50tonne to EUR183.00/tonne.

This was another fresh more than 15 month low for a front month for London wheat.

French analyst Strategie Grains suggest that the 2011 EU-27 soft wheat harvest was 129.5 MMT, which is 400,000 MT up on their previous estimate.

They also increased their corn production forecast by 1 MMT to 64.4 MMT, a hefty 16% rise on last year. French output alone was seen 0.5 MMT higher than last month at 15.8 MMT, 0.6 MMT higher than the latest USDA estimate. Production in Romania was also increased to 10.1 MMT making it the second largest grower in the EU-27.

Looking ahead to 2012 they estimate the EU-27 soft wheat crop nearly five percent higher at 135.8 MMT, with the planted area up 100,000 hectares to 23.2 million. Barley plantings are seen rising by 200,000 hectares to 12.1 million, with corn sowings flat at 8.9 million hectares as the area fallow declines by 300,000 hectares to 5.7 million.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said that wheat production there last season may in fact have been a stunning 27.9 MMT, a 28% increase on 2009/10 and far higher than any other estimates have been. Thailand became the latest Asian buyer of Australian feed wheat today, booking 150,000 MT in favour of more expensive US corn.

US wheat and corn sales were a disappointment in today's USDA export sales report, and wheat shipments are now starting to lag well behind the levels required to meet what is starting to look like an increasingly ambitious USDA target of 26 MMT of exports in 2011/12.