EU Grains Quiet As US Market Closed

16/01/12 -- EU grains finished narrowly mixed with Jan 12 London wheat down a whopping five whole pence to GBP155.45/tonne, and Mar 12 Paris wheat up EUR1.25/tonne to EUR198.25/tonne. New crop London months were GBP0.85/tonne lower.

With America closed for Martin Luther King Day there was very little fresh news or impetus about.

It was a dry weekend in Argentina, with little respite in the forecast for the main growing areas this week. Corn and soybean plantings have stalled at around 85% done and the planting window is rapidly closing.

Dryness in Ukraine is also raising a few eyebrows, with production prospects for this season's harvest already touted as being well below last year's record output of 56.4 MMT. Winter wheat acres that have failed to sprout, or didn't get planted at all might end up going into spring barley or corn. If it's the latter then perversely they may end up with a larger grain harvest than they think if Mother Nature plays ball.

The wretched European debt crisis is never far from the headlines, with a March Greek default looking more likely after a breakdown in talks with the private sector currently unwilling to take a 50% write-down on the debt they hold.

Following an assortment of credit rating downgrades for various EU countries on Friday, including France and Austria, S&P's went one further tonight by cutting it's rating on the EFSF eurozone bailout fund to AA+.