EU Wheat Gains But Trend Remains Sideways

09/03/12 -- EU grains finished mixed but mostly higher. Mar 12 London wheat was unchanged at GBP166.00/tonne, but other old crop months were GBP1.35/tonne firmer with new crop up GBP1.45/tonne. Mar 12 Paris wheat, which goes off the board on Monday, was up EUR6.50/tonne to EUR220.00/tonne, with May 12 EUR5.00/tonne higher to EUR208.75/tonne.

On the week as a whole Mar 12 London wheat gained GBP0.70/tonne and Mar 12 Paris wheat EUR3.00/tonne. This is the fourth week in a row that front month London wheat has posted a net change of GBP1.00/tonne or less, highlighting the sideways nature that this market has at the moment.

Brussels announced yesterday that they'd issued soft wheat export licences for 269 TMT this past week, bringing the year-to-date total to 9.4 MMT, way below last season's levels.

In it's March WASDE report the USDA trimmed world wheat ending stocks for 2011/12 from 213.1 MMT to 209.6 MMT, taking them back just below the record high of 210.3 MMT set in 1999/00.

A little surprisingly though they raised their Brazilian corn production estimate for this year by 1 MMT to 62 MMT and also left Argentine output unchanged at 22 MMT. World ending stocks were trimmed, but not as much as anticipated. US ending stocks were left unchanged when a reduction was expected. Overall it was quite a bearish report for corn.

By late afternoon trading in Europe, Informa Economics came out with their March US planting estimates for the 2012 harvest. They'd already given us a post-WWII record figure of 94.7 million acres for corn last month, today they raised that to more than 95.5 million - the highest in 75 years.

Some of that extra acreage is seen coming from wheat, with Informa trimming it's estimate slightly to 57.745 million acres, even so that still represents an increase of more than 6% on 2011. They also upped their soybean planting estimate by more than half a million acres to 75.128 million, a small rise on last year.