EU Wheat Mixed To Start The Week

03/12/12 -- EU grains closed mixed with Jan 13 London wheat GBP0.25/tonne firmer at GBP224.00/tonne, with benchmark May 13 up GBP0.15/tonne at GBP227.15/tonne and new crop Nov 13 up GBP1.25/tonne to GBP198.75/tonne. Jan 13 Paris wheat ended EUR0.25/tonne lower at EUR269.25/tonne.

It was a relatively subdued start to the new week and new month, with London wheat taking until well into the afternoon to trade at all. Early strength however petered away in late afternoon trade as an initially strong US wheat market turned lower on ideas that parched Great Plains winter wheat may finally get some moisture relief towards the end of the week.

Egypt bought 400 TMT of mostly US wheat in their weekend tender, although France and Romania picked up one cargo each of the business. US white wheat won the majority of the order, accounting for 280 TMT, spread between LH Jan and FH Feb delivery.

Neither Russian nor Ukraine wheat featured, seemingly confirming that both are more or less out of the market now until the summer.

Ukraine said that it had exported 3.37 MMT of grain in November, reaching a record 11.76 MMT of grains so far this season. That's a substantial 71.3% increase on this time a year ago, although it should be remembered that export duties hampered early season sales last year.

Of the total exported so far 5.48 MMT is wheat, and a further 269 TMT of wheat is said to either be in portside storage waiting to load, or onboard vessels already awaiting to sail subject to customs clearance. The latter is not expected to be a problem, but this may well be the last wheat to leave the country until new crop.

Ukraine's harvest meanwhile is said to be almost over, at 99% complete producing a total grain crop of just under 46 MMT in bunker weight. Average yields are 16% down at 3.16 MT/ha. The corn harvest is wrapping up at 96% complete, producing a crop of 19.58 MMT to date, with yields down 25% at 4.64 MT/ha.

Kazakhstan said that it has exported a little over 3 MMT of grains (including flour) so far this season, against a 7 MMT target for the full 2012/13 marketing year (down 42% on the 2011/12 total of 12 MMT). They are expected to continue to plug away for the remainder of the season, shipping around 4-500 TMT/month.

IKAR said that they expect Russia's wheat exports to dip from 1.6 MMT in November to around 7-800 TMT this month.

FranceAgriMer said that a drier pattern has allowed winter wheat plantings there to struggle on to reach 87% done versus 100% a year ago. The late sowing means that emergence is running at 83% versus 99% a year ago, with only 14% of the crop tillering against 51% in 2011. Overall the crop is rated 76% good/very good compared to 86% last year at this time. The corn harvest is finally just about over at 99% complete, they added.