EU Wheat Mixed, UK Imports Up Sharply

16/07/13 -- EU grains were mixed in a relatively subdued and low volume session. Harvest pressure weighs, although ideas that the Russian crop might not be as high as official estimates suggest is supportive.

London wheat closed with front month Nov 13 GBP0.55/tonne firmer at GBP168.50/tonne and Nov 13 Paris wheat ended unchanged at EUR194.00/tonne.

The French wheat harvest is off to a stuttering start, rain forecast for the end of the week may further stall that, although it will be of benefit to corn. Reports suggest that a boat waiting to load new crop wheat to Algeria is slow to fill.

UK customs data shows May wheat exports at 54 TMT, up from 32 TMT in April, but well behind year ago levels. Cumulative exports one month short of the 2012/13 marketing year now stand at 667 TMT, less than a third of the 2.48 MMT that had been exported this time a year ago.

Barley exports currently stand at 377 TMT, less than half of last year's 788 TMT. OSR exports to the end of May are 716 TMT versus 1 MMT in 2011/12.

Wheat imports meanwhile were 298 TMT in May and total 2.68 MMT for the season to the end of that month, that's 325% of the volume shipped in during 2011/12 at the same time. Corn imports are 1.49 MMT versus 887 TMT a year previously.

Ukraine's Grain Association head says that the country may harvest a record 57 MMT of grains this year, and exports could reach 29 MMT, also an all time high. Their spring planted corn crop is well developed heading into the flowering stage and generally in good condition, say the local Ag Ministry.

Kazakhstan's Ag Ministry say that this year's grain crop could total 15 MMT, up from 12.9 MMT last year but only falling into the "average at best" category. They produced a crop of 27 MMT two years ago.

The President of Russia's Tatarstan Republic, the fifth largest grain producing region in the country, says that production this year will only be half of original expectations at 2.5 MMT, and even fall below last year's poor result due to acute drought.

Jordan bought 50 TMT of Black Sea origin barley at USD280.75 C&F for Feb shipment. The lowest offer in an Iraqi tender for wheat was said to be Russian origin at USD302/tonne CIFFO. Other Russian quotes were as high as USD307/tonne, Romanian wheat was offered at USD307-309/tonne, with Ukraine wheat just behind that at around USD310/tonne. The tender was for 50 TMT but they usually buy significantly more, the results are expected in the next few days.

Whet yields in Hungary are said to be averaging 4.6 MT/ha, up 23% versus last year's 3.74 MT/ha, with harvesting 38% complete.