EU Grains Mostly Higher To Start The Week

27/01/14 -- EU grains finished mostly higher, with Mar 14 London wheat ending up GBP0.55/tonne at GBP152.50/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 London wheat closed GBP0.30/tonne firmer at GBP144.25/tonne.

Mar 14 Paris wheat was EUR01.50/tonne firmer at EUR194.25/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was up EUR0.75/tonne to EUR173.50/tonne, whilst Feb 14 Paris rapeseed closed EUR2.50/tonne higher at EUR360.50/tonne.

The hitherto relatively benign weather means that the hardening of winter cereals is significantly delayed in western and central Europe, according to the EU Commission's MARS unit.

"Since mid-December, most of Europe experienced an exceptionally mild period with a 2 to 7°C positive thermal anomaly, slowing down or delaying the hardening process from Ireland to Poland. A decrease in frost tolerance has even be observed in southern France, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and some other areas of the Balkan Peninsula where a large part of the crops is only slightly hardened, they said.

"Little or no low-temperature tolerance has been reached in the coastal region of the Mediterranean Sea. On the other hand, weather conditions in Russia, most of Ukraine and Belarus where sufficiently cold to allow for the full or almost full hardening of winter crops.

"The weather forecast until the beginning of February indicates a significant temperature decrease in central and eastern Europe. Consequently, winter cereals are likely to complete the hardening process in the Baltic countries, Belarus, southern Ukraine and most of Poland and the Czech Republic. Frost tolerance is also expected to increase significantly in eastern regions of Germany as well as in Austria, Hungary, Romania and countries of the Balkan Peninsula.

"No frost kill has been simulated in Europe so far, thanks to the warmer-than-usual weather conditions," they added.

Saudi Arabia booked 715 TMT of EU/US/Australian/South American wheat in their tender over the weekend, adding some support to the market.

Lanworth Inc forecast the EU-28 2014 wheat crop at 146.7 MMT, an increase of 2.4% on last year. The French crop will rise by 2 MMT to 40.5 MMT they estimate.

Despite a decrease in plantings for 2014, the Ukraine wheat crop will rise from 22.0 MMT to 22.08 MMT, they say. That's in line with expectations from UkrAgroConsult, who say that better yields will offset a reduced acreage this year.

The Ukraine Hydrometeorlogical Centre say that recent heavy frosts will not have caused any crop damage due to sufficient snow coverage.

APK Inform say that Ukraine exported 674 TMT of grains in the week through to Jan 26, of that volume 95% was corn.