EU Wheat Closing Comments - Friday

23/11/12 -- EU grains closed mixed with expiring Nov 12 London wheat unchanged at GBP218.00/tonne and with benchmark May 13 also static at GBP220.00/tonne and new crop Nov 13 up GBP1.80/tonne to GBP189.35/tonne. Jan 13 Paris wheat ended EUR1.00/tonne lower at EUR269.75/tonne.

For the week overall May 13 London wheat was GBP0.75/tonne lower,  Nov 13 GBP1.85/tonne firmer and Jan 13 Paris wheat EUR0.50/tonne higher.

New crop London wheat was the week's biggest gainer on mounting concerns over next year's crop. Trade estimates suggest that only two thirds of the intended winter wheat acreage has got planted so far. Another very wet week, and the promise of plenty more to come of the weekend is unlikely to see things improve a while yet.

It was a relatively subdued session with no overnight Globex market due to yesterday's US Thanksgiving holiday, and many traders taking to opportunity to make a long weekend of it and take today off as well.

Fresh news was therefore pretty scarce. The EU leaders' summit in Brussels predictably ended without an agreement being reached, and they will now all reconvene in the new year to have another crack at it. Don't hold your breath on that one getting resolved either.

Ukraine is winding up the last of it's corn harvest, which is now 92% done at 18.64 MMT in bunker weight. The total grain harvest now stands at 45 MMT versus 55.8 MMT this time a year ago. Net yields are 3.13 MT/ha, down 16% on last year.

US weekly export sales for wheat came in at a better than expected 635,400 MT which is the best performance in 16 weeks. Europe couldn't this week match last week's weekly soft wheat export licence total of 695 TMT - the largest weekly total in more than two years - but was still pretty respectable at 380 TMT and exports are now running 11.5% ahead of this time last year. Maybe the switch from cheaper Black Sea wheat to Europe and America has begun?

The 2013 harvest suddenly seems a long way off, and European, US and Russian crop conditions are far from ideal as we head into winter. Vivergo are said to be actively in the market for wheat, current gossip suggests that they are likely to want to stick to a minimum bushel weight of 68 kg/hl.

Ensus are said to be running "full tilt" although they are also taking in French corn to supplement the poor quality of this year's domestic wheat crop.