EU Grains Mostly Higher, Weather Issues Remain

26/11/12 – EU grains closed generally higher with Jan 12 London wheat up GBP2.00/tonne to GBP220.00/tonne, with benchmark May 13  GBP1.65/tonne higher at GBP223.65/tonne and new crop Nov 13 climbing GBP2.15/tonne to GBP191.50/tonne. Jan 13 Paris wheat ended unchanged at EUR269.75/tonne although other months were modestly higher.

Another weekend of wretched wet weather continues to raise eyebrows concerning crop production potential here for 2013. The general consensus being that around 30% of the intended winter crop acreage currently remains unplanted in the UK.

"Conditions are particularly unfavourable in the UK since the ground is still saturated by the heavy rainfall that dominated most of 2012 and much of what is sown is under serious attacks by slugs," note MARS in a report today.

In France, they've at least now managed to get 94% of their winter crop in the ground. Although only 72% of it has so far emerged versus 97% normally, according to FranceAgriMer. They place 76% of the crop in good/excellent condition versus 95% a year ago.

It is interesting to see Iraq back in the market tendering for "at least" 50 TMT of wheat so soon after buying 350 TMT of the grain just last week. Jordan are also in the market for 100 TMT each of wheat and barley.

Another interesting snippet of news was a report on Reuters of Brazil supposedly buying one or two cargoes of German wheat in an unusual move from such a distant supplier. Brazil's domestic wheat harvest has quality issues this year, but they would normally buy virtually all of their import requirements from neighbouring Argentina. The inference is that maybe Argentina's crop, which has been dogged by rain all season, is also failing to meet Brazilian millers' quality requirements.

Russia said that it has shipped just over 1 MMT of grain so far this month (to Nov 21), including 670 TMT of wheat, 189 TMT of barley and 154 TMT of corn. That brings their total 2012/13 marketing year-to-date exports to 11.38 MMT, down 17% on last year and fulfils nearly three quarters of the Ag Ministry's projected 15.5 MMT full season total.

Ukraine said that it's corn harvest is 93% complete at 18.9 MMT with yields down 25% at 4.62 MT/ha. That brings this season's grain harvest to 45.27 MMT to date, with the Ministry forecasting a final crop of 45.5-46.5 MMT in bunker weight against 56.7 MMT a year ago.

MARS placed final 2012 EU-27 corn yields down 20.6% this year, noting a recurrent theme of "extreme heat waves and precipitation deficiencies caused serious grain maize yield losses in Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Italy." Yields in those four countries slumped by 48%, 42%, 37% and 20% respectively.