EU Grains Mixed As Harvest Results Filter Through

02/08/12 -- EU grains finished mixed with Nov 12 London wheat down GBP0.50/tonne to GBP188.50/tonne and Nov 12 Paris wheat up EUR0.75/tonne to EUR256.00/tonne.

Fresh news was fairly thin on the ground today. The InterFax news agency, quoting the Russian Ag Minister, said that they may lower their 2012 grain production estimate to 70-75 MMT versus 94 MMT in 2011 and a previous estimate of 75-80 MMT.

InterFax also said that Russia’s total 2012/13 grain exports are now estimated at 12 MMT versus the previous estimate of 16 MMT.

It seems that the government estimates are now lining up at the low end of what other market observers think.

The USDA attaché in Russia estimates Russia’s 2012 grain crop significantly higher at 81.0 MMT, including 47 MMT of wheat, 15 MMT of barley and 7.5 MMT of corn. Grain exports are pegged at 15.0 MMT, including 11 MMT of wheat, 2 MMT of barley, and 1.5 MMT of corn.

SovEcon, the respected analytical firm, weighed in with a wheat estimate of 46.5 MMT this week.

The grain harvest last year was around 94 MMT, of which 56 MMT was wheat. Total grain exports in 2011/12 were around 28 MMT, including 21.3 MMT of wheat.

At home, harvesting of winter barley and oilseed rape started about 7-10 days later than normal with about 40% of the winter barley and almost 20% of the winter oilseed rape area harvested by 31 July, mostly in southern England, say the HGCA. Wheat harvested is expected to start in the next 7-10 days, they add.

"Early indications are that UK winter barley yields are close to average at around 6.3 MT/ha with improved yields from normal on light land. Quality is variable," they say.

"Early indications are that UK rapeseed yields are close to the five year average at around 3.5 MT/ha,  lower than the record yield of 3.9 MT/ha in 2011," they conclude.

Meanwhile the German Farmers Union (DBV) say that the winter barley harvest there is nearly complete, with yields averaging 6.3 MT/ha. The rapeseed harvest is around 70% done with yields averaging 3.3 MT.ha, they add.