EU Grains Up On The Day, But Mostly Down For The Week

13/12/13 -- EU grains closed mostly higher on continued very strong export demand. Brussels issued 780 TMT of soft wheat export licences this past week, another big weekly number and in fact the second highest of the season so far, which take the total volume issued in 2013/14 to 12.55 MMT, up almost 46% on a year ago. The USDA currently has the EU-28 down to export 10.6% more wheat than in 2012/13.

The session ended with Jan 14 London wheat up GBP1.85/tonne at GBP165.40/tonne, Jan 14 Paris wheat was EUR2.75/tonne firmer at EUR208.50/tonne, Jan 14 Paris corn was down EUR0.25/tonne at EUR175.75/tonne and Feb 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.25/tonne to EUR367.25/tonne.

For the week that puts London wheat up GBP0.70/tonne, Paris wheat was down EUR1.50/tonne, Paris corn fell EUR5.00/tonne and Paris rapeseed shed EUR7.25/tonne. So London wheat managed to punch above it's weight a bit this week relative to the other grains (Chicago wheat was 19 cents lower on the week too).

Trade data shows that the UK imported 221 TMT of wheat in October, similar to the volume imported a year previously, and although that does represent a decline on September's imports it's still quite a big number given that Defra were predicting imports to drop off sharply after the first quarter. Corn imports meanwhile are also ahead of last season's pace and totalled 129 TMT in October.

The Ukraine Ministry said that the country will export 3.5 MMT of grains this month, down from the record 4.7 MMT shipped out in November. Jan/Feb exports will decline further, to around 3 MMT each, they said. The vast majority of that is now likely to be corn.

Ukraine farmers will plant around 8.7 million hectares of spring grains in 2014 (versus a little over 7.7 million ha of winter grains), an increase of 600,000 ha versus 2013, said the Ministry. Around 98% of winter plantings have emerged and approximately 92% are said to be in good/satisfactory condition. The 2014 corn area is expected to expand from around 4.8 million hectares this year to 5.2 million ha.

Russian winter crop conditions are said to be "better than last year" despite delayed plantings. Unseasonably warm weather in October and November has helped crops get established before the onset of winter.

The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said that the wheat harvest there was around 40% complete, and stood by their estimate for final production of 10.35 MMT, despite output of only 2.9 MMT so far. I guess that we must assume that the more productive land is yet to see a combine?

CBH Group estimated the Western Australian grain crop at 14.5 MMT, up from their previous estimate of 13.2-13.8 MMT, due to better than expected yields.

Indian wheat plantings have been completed on 25.4 million hectares, up 11.5% from a year ago, according to the Ministry.