EU Grains Mixed, Defra Revise 2013 UK Wheat Crop Lower

19/12/13 -- EU grains closed mixed, but mostly a bit firmer, following recent losses, but essentially we are still stuck in sideways trade.

Jan 14 London wheat ended up GBP2.05/tonne at GBP165.50/tonne, although Mar 14 closed GBP0.30/tonne lower at GBP164.00/tonne. Jan 14 Paris wheat finished EUR1.00/tonne firmer at EUR208.50/tonne, Jan 14 Paris corn closed EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR173.75/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed jumped EUR6.25/tonne to EUR367.50/tonne.

Defra revised their assessment of the 2013 UK wheat crop down from 12.1 MMT previously to only 11.9 MMT - the lowest output since 2001. That's a 10% decline on production in 2012, which itself was a very poor crop, despite a rise in yields of 11% due to a 19% weather enforced drop in plantings.

The 2013 UK barley crop was pegged at 7.1 MMT, an increase of 28% on last year. The UK OSR crop estimate was unchanged from previously at 2.1 MMT, a 17% drop on a year ago.

French analysts Strategie Grains estimated the EU-28 soft wheat crop 2% higher in 2014 at 138 MMT, with the all wheat crop also increasing 2% to 145.7 MMT. They see the 2014 EU-28 barley crop down 8% at 54.5 MMT, with corn output up marginally at 64.7 MMT.

MDA CropCast forecast the 2014/15 EU-28 soft wheat crop at 138.53 MMT, up 630 TMT on a week ago.

"Rains are beginning to build across western areas, and should increase further this week. This will improve moisture, especially in Spain, France, U.K., and western Germany. However, snow cover will remain limited across the continent as temperatures remain rather mild. The lack of snow cover in eastern areas will make the wheat there more susceptible to winterkill during any future cold outbreaks. Also, moisture will decline in central and eastern areas as precipitation remains very limited," they said.

Ukraine's 2013/14 grain exports of 16.4 MMT are up 24% versus a year go. Russia's are less robust at 14.3 MMT, a 15.5% increase versus 2012/13.

Kazakhstan has exported 4 MMT of grain so far this season versus a government estimate of 9-10 MMT for the full marketing year.

Iraq bought 350 TMT of Australian wheat in a tender today. CBH said that the Western Australian grain crop (including canola) would be a record this year, beating the previous all time high of 15.06 MMT set in 2011/12. WA is the main exporting state in the country.

The USDA's FAS department in Bulgaria said the the country had exported 2.72 MMT of wheat so far this year, an increase of 57% versus a year ago. They estimate the the Eastern European country will export  a record 3.1 MMT of wheat this year. Wheat plantings for 2014 are seen slightly lower than 1.19 million hectares this year at 1.1 milion ha.