EU Wheat Starts 2012 On The Offensive

02/01/12 -- You can say what you like about the French, and I usually do, but our Gallic mates across the Channel dragged their sorry backsides into work today unlike much of the rest of Europe and the US.

Paris grains started 2012 where they left 2011, on the offensive, with Jan 12 Paris wheat rising EUR4.00/tonne to EUR206.50/tonne. Corn, rapeseed and malting barley futures also posted solid gains of around EUR3-4/tonne to kick off the New Year.

It was thin trade with much of the rest of the world taking a day off, but Jan 12 Paris wheat pushed on to post its highest close since September.

Parts of Brazil got rain over the festive period, although not enough for soil moisture deficits to fully recover. Meanwhile Argentina, where around 20% of the soybean and corn crops were still to be planted as of last week, remained dry.

As well as having a dry weekend, temperatures in Argentina were said to have been above to well above normal, particularly in western growing areas with highs across the country ranging from 32-39C.

A strong short wave trough offers the best chance for some moisture relief, but that doesn't show up until early next week.

Closer to home, weekend rain and snow across much of western and central Europe will have helped replenish soil moisture for winter wheat, although parts of Hungary and Romania and much of Ukraine are still dry.