EU Wheat Mixed, London Wheat Near Parity With France

22/08/13 -- EU grains closed mixed. US markets are trying to rally on various potential weather scares. Short-term dryness and heat, combined with talk of early frost worries in the Midwest are enough to keep the market on it's toes for the time being. With funds short on corn and wheat, and only sitting on a very small soybean long, the market remains vulnerable to a corrective bounce on issues such as these.

London wheat closed with Nov 13 GBP0.30/tonne higher at GBP155.75/tonne, Jan 14 was also GBP0.30/tonne firmer at GBP158.00/tonne, whilst Nov 13 Paris wheat fell EUR0.25/tonne to close at EUR185.25/tonne (circa GBP159/tonne).

Germany's farmers association, DBV, estimated the winter wheat crop there at 23.9 MMT, up 6.8% versus 22.38 MMT a year ago. They have the winter OSR crop at 5.6 MMT, an increase of 16.7% from 12 months ago, with the winter barley harvest complete at 8.2 MMT, up 17.1% versus 7.0 MMT a year ago.

ADAS said that 25% of the UK combinable crop area is now harvested compared to the five-year average of 50%. "The slow rate of progress this season reflects the slow maturation of crops rather than weather impacts on harvest. In the South, progress is about 2-3 weeks later than normal, although in Scotland and north England it is closer to average," they said.

"The wheat harvest is 15% complete with yields currently close to average at 7.6-7.8 MT/ha. Milling samples are meeting specification. The winter barley harvest is drawing to a close with 90% UK area complete. Yields are above the five-year average at 6.5-6.8 MT/ha and quality is good. The spring barley harvest has now started in Scotland, as well as progress being made in southern England – 20% of UK area harvested to date," they added.

Winter oilseed rape is 50% cut, with yields better than expected. The current estimate is only slightly below the 5 year average at 3.3-3.5 MT/ha, they said.

Separately, ODA said that the UK wheat harvest was about 28% done, although they only place yields at 7.26 MT/ha.

Russia's grain harvest is approaching the halfway point at 46% compete, producing a crop of 54.2 MMT so far. Wheat accounts for 36.5 MMT of that off 50% of the planned area, with average yields of 2.93 MT/ha, up 40%. They've also harvested 10.2 MMT of barley and 2.5 MMT of corn to date.

Oil World estimated the EU-28 OSR crop at 20.8 MMT, up from a previous forecast of 20.5 MMT and a 7.2% increase on last year.

Brussels issued 579 TMT of soft wheat export licences in the past week, bringing the 2013/14 marketing year to date total to a very respectable 3.2 MMT so far. They also issued licences to export 338 TMT of barley, taking the year to date total to 1.98 MMT.

French grade 1 milling wheat is offered in the market at USD251/tonne FOB Rouen, the equivalent of around GBP161/tonne. New crop corn FOB Bordeaux is USD223.50/tonne, circa GBP143/tonne.

Agritel said that Ukraine face a major logistical challenge in trying to export a record 30 MMT of grains and 4 MMT of oilseeds this year. APK Inform said that Ukraine has the potential to ship 39 MMT of grains, oilseeds and by-products this year - the equivalent of 3.25 MMT/month, yet they've only managed to ship 3.5 MMT between Jul 1 and Aug 20.

Prediction time: London wheat will open lower in the morning.