EU Grains Close - Tuesday

29/05/12 -- EU grains finished generally lower with Jul 12 London wheat ending down GBP3.00/tonne to GBP174.00/tonne, and new crop Nov 12 falling GBP3.25/tonne to close at GBP155.75/tonne. Aug 12 Paris wheat was unchanged for the seventh straight session at EUR212.75/tonne, whilst Nov 12 was EUR4.50/tonne lower at EUR211.50/tonne.

Wheat was modestly lower for most of the morning, but those losses picked up later in the afternoon when Chicago opened and wheat there came under instant pressure.

The winter wheat harvest in Kansas is now well underway, and early indications are that yields are generally better than expected/recently feared.

Rain relief has arrived for Ukraine, with generally good coverage across parched areas to the south and east. The Ministry there now say that their grain harvest could now amount to 47.2 MMT, possibly as high as 48 MMT, given the recent improvement in the weather.

Their 2012/13 grain exports are estimated at 22.5 MMT, a large proportion of which is expected to be corn. Indeed they may well become the world's second largest corn exporter after the US in the season ahead.

Russia's spring grain plantings are now estimated at 90% complete. Some sporadic rain has fallen in southern districts, but more would be helpful.

The EU Commission's crop-monitoring unit, MARS, tweaked their 2012 EU grain production estimates today, pegging the EU-27 wheat yield at 5.34 MT/ha, marginally down on last year although 0.7% above the five year average. UK yields were estimated at 8.18 MT/ha, 5.6% up on last year.

EU-27 barley yields are seen at 4.43MT/ha, 2.8% up on last year, with yields here in the UK rising 1.7% to 5.6 MT/ha. EU-27 rapeseed yields are seen rising slightly to 2.87 MT/ha, although the UK will suffer a drop of 14.5% from last year's record to 3.34 MT/ha, they add.

The EU Commission estimate all wheat production in the bloc at 134.6 MMT, 2 MMT down on last year but 2.6 MMT above the USDA's recent forecast. EU-27 rapeseed output will only be marginally down from 19.3 MMT to 19.2 MMT, they estimate. That is also well above other analysts estimates in the 17.5-18.0 MMT area.

This year's barley crop will total 55.4 MMT, 1.8 MMT above the USDA's May estimate and a 3.9 MMT increase on last year, they add.