EU Wheat Follows Chicago Lower

16/12/13 -- EU grains closed mostly easier, as US wheat fell to fresh lows. CBOT wheat closed at levels not seen since June 2012 on Friday, and declined further today.

Jan 14 London wheat ended down GBP1.10/tonne at GBP164.30/tonne, and Jan 14 Paris wheat finished EUR0.50/tonne easier at EUR208.00/tonne, Jan 14 Paris corn closed EUR3.25/tonne lower at EUR172.50/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed dropped EUR0.75/tonne to EUR366.50/tonne.

Morocco bought 75 TMT of wheat on the domestic, not international, market over the weekend. Algeria booked 150 TMT of durum wheat (thought to be of Canadian origin) for Jan shipment. The lowest bid in Iraq's wheat tender that closed at the weekend was said to be of Australian origin. Otherwise export interest looks pretty scant.

Ukraine said that they'd exported 15.9 MMT of grains in the 2013/14 marketing year so far to Dec 13. That includes 6,33 MMT of wheat, 7.45 MMT if corn and 1.98 MMT of barley, and represents a 22.3% increase on last year.

Coceral finalised their forecasts for the 2013 EU-28 cereal harvest, placing the soft wheat output this year at 135.9 MMT, and increase of almost 8% on last year. The 2013 EU-28 durum wheat crop adds 8.24 MMT to that total, with barley production at 59.7 MMT (versus 54.4 MMT last year) and corn output coming in at 64.8 MMT versus 57.4 MMT in 2012.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that this year's grain harvest was 96.4 MMT in bunker weight, or in excess of 90 MMT in clean weight. That compares to a clean weight harvest of 70.9 MMT a year ago. This year's harvest includes 50 MMT of wheat (in clean weight). They predict a 2014 grain harvest of 95 MMT in clean weight, including 55 MMT of wheat.

Winter grain plantings however are only complete on 14.7 million hectares, 1.1 million less than a year ago. That is now likely to be that until the spring.

The EU Commission's MARS unit said that "The decreasing temperatures of late autumn and early winter initiated the hardening of winter cereals. Our model simulation results indicate some delay in hardening in central and eastern areas of Europe due to the mild thermal conditions of the last two months."

"Hardening is well advanced in southern Germany, the south-western half of the Czech Republic, as well as in northern Europe, most of Belarus, in the Central Okrug of Russia and some areas in northern and eastern Ukraine. Winter crops are partially hardened in a wide region extending from the British Isles and Spain to the Black Sea," they added.

"Below-average temperatures are expected over southern Russia, Turkey and northern Africa, whereas warmer-than usual conditions will prevail in a wide belt extending from the British Isles to the central part of Russia. Frost kill is unlikely to occur during the forecast period. Most of Europe is expected to remain drier-than-usual, with the exception of the British Isles, southern Scandinavia, Denmark, southern Finland and the north-western part of the Iberian Peninsula," they noted.