EU Wheat Recovers Some Of Thursday's Losses

14/12/12 -- EU grains closed higher, recovering some of yesterday's losses on bargain hunting. Jan 13 London wheat closed GBP2.25/tonne higher at GBP217.50/tonne, with benchmark May 13 up GBP1.75/tonne at GBP219.50/tonne and new crop Nov 13 gaining GBP0.75/tonne to GBP190.50/tonne. Jan 13 Paris wheat ended EUR4.50/tonne firmer at EUR260.25/tonne.

For the week however there were still some fairly steep losses attributed to a bearish, at least for wheat, USDA report on Tuesday. Jan 13 London wheat finished with losses of GBP7.00/tonne for the week, with May 13 down GBP8.00/tonne and Nov 13 also falling GBP8.00/tonne. Jan 13 Paris wheat shed EUR8.50/tonne.

After a sharp sell-off yesterday the trade seemed to re-focus on strong world demand for wheat, and that Europe is winning an increasingly larger share of that. Yesterday's 583 TMT of soft wheat export licenses takes the 2012/13 marketing year-to-date total to almost 25% ahead of this time last season.

Ukraine's grain harvest is just about over at 46.61 MMT in bunker weight, and so too would appear to be it's wheat export campaign. The corn harvest is said to be 99% complete at 20.27 MMT, also in bunker weight. They should remain active corn sellers at least until the spring.

Ukraine's Stae Statistics Service said that December 1st grain stocks were 21.4 MMT, down 27% from a year ago. Of that, wheat stocks were only 6.5 MMT, barley stocks 2.1 MMT, and corn stocks 11.2 MMT.

It will be the spring before Abengoa's Rotterdam bioethanol facility is back in the market for corn, having taken a reported "voluntary" 3-month shut-down in order to resolve various issues with the plant. EU bioethanol margins are said to have "turned sharply negative" in recent weeks, so the timing of this downtime may also be tied to that.

Coceral today cut their forecast for the 2012 EU-27 soft wheat crop from 124.69 MMT last time to 123.97 MMT, a drop of 5% on last year's production. They now peg the UK crop at 13.35 MMT this year, broadly in line with the HGCA's 13.3 MMT.

In other news, the Buenos Aires Grain Exchange said that 42.4% of the wheat crop there has been harvested so far versus 50.4% a year ago. They now estimate production at only 9.8 MMT this year, a drop of almost 37% on last year.