EU Wheat Mixed But Mostly Lower

17/01/13 -- EU grains were mixed but mostly lower with Jan 13 London wheat down  GBP0.85/tonne to GBP213.60/tonne, May 13 also down GBP0.85/tonne to GBP214.65/tonne and new crop Nov 13 falling GBP0.25/tonne to GBP187.90/tonne. Mar 13 Paris milling wheat was EUR2.50/tonne lower to close at EUR2498.00/tonne.

London wheat fared a little better than Paris wheat as the pound fell to it's lowest levels against the euro since March 2012 at 1.1950, and close to a two-month low versus the US dollar of 1.5950, on concerns over the outlook for growth in the UK.

FranceAgriMer pegged the French soft wheat area for the 2013 harvest at 4.95 million hectares, an increase of 1.6% on last year. The durum area is seen down 6.7%. For barley they forecast a 10% increase in plantings to 1.08 million hectares, and for rapeseed a 7.1% decline to 1.6 million ha.

Strategie Grains cut 1.7 MMT off last month's estimate for 2013/14 EU-28 soft wheat production to 133.3 MMT (they now include Croatia in their forecasts as they are scheduled to become a full member of the bloc on Jul 1).

The largest cuts were said to be for Germany, the UK and Poland. Although specific numbers for each aren't currently available, the combined reduction for these three was said to be 1.5 MMT. Smaller reductions were also forecast for France, Denmark and Sweden.

EU-28 barley production was forecast at 54.7 MMT, little changed on a year ago, whilst corn output is set to rebound 15% from last year's disappointing harvest to 64.9 MMT.

The FAO estimated Ukraine's 2012/13 grain crop at 45.3 MMT, down 20% on last year, including 15.5 MMT of wheat and 21.0 MMT of corn. They estimate Ukraine's wheat exports at 6.0 MMT this season, with corn shipments more than double that level at 12.7 MMT.

The IGC raised their world 2012/13 wheat crop estimate by 2 MMT to 656 MMT, which is also 2 MMT higher than last week's USDA number. World corn output was also increased, by 15 MMT to 845 MMT, although that is still 7 MMT less than the USDA's estimate.

Iraq confirmed that it had bought 300 TMT of mostly Australian wheat in it's tender which closed on Sunday. The amount also included one cargo from Canada. Syria and Tunisia are also in the tender market.

Stats Canada said that the country had exported 7.62 MMT of OSR in the first 11 months of 2012, which is 10% more than in the same period in 2011. The increase was driven by a sharp increase in demand from China, who were responsible for taking 2.7 MMT during the period - up 122% vs Jan/Nov 2011.