EU Wheat Rises Boosted By Bullish USDA Data

30/03/12 -- EU grains finished generally sharply higher with May 12 London wheat ending up GBP3.75/tonne at GBP174.75/tonne, and May 12 Paris wheat climbing EUR5.50/tonne to EUR212.75/tonne.

The long awaited USDA report was the catalyst to send futures scurrying higher in afternoon trade. On the week overall May 12 London wheat was GBP2.25/tonne firmer whilst May 12 Paris wheat was actually EUR1.25/tonne lower.

London feed wheat is punching well above it's weight at the moment, based on tonight's close it is only around EUR3.00/tonne cheaper than Paris milling wheat.

Today's USDA numbers were particularly bullish for soybeans, with spring plantings pegged well below anticipated levels at 73.9 million acres, lower than the lowest trade estimate and 1.1 million below the USDA's February Outlook estimate.

Corn plantings were seen at close to 96 million acres, but old crop stocks were said to be tighter than anticipated. Wheat plantings at 55.9 million were towards the low end of what was expected and more than 2 million below last month's USDA Outlook Forum.

In Europe Coceral, in its first forecast for the 2012-13 harvest, pegged soft wheat production 2.1% down on last year at 126.76 MMT.

UK output is estimated marginally higher than in 2011 at 15.58 MMT, French production is also forecast up a tad at 34.08 MMT, with Germany chipping in with 22.37 MMT, a fraction less than a year ago.

The Coceral number is well below the figure of 131.1 MMT issued by Strategie Grains just a fortnight ago and would appear to confirm concerns that the damage cause by the February deep freeze and subsequent drought has indeed caused more damage than originally thought.