EU Wheat Sets Various Downside Records

20/01/14 -- EU grains were mostly lower in a quiet session with US markets closed for the Martin Luther King holiday.

Soon to expire front month Jan 14 London wheat closed GBP2.85/tonne lower at GBP150.00/tonne, whilst new crop Nov 14 ended the day down GBP0.35/tonne at GBP144.40/tonne. Mar 14 Paris wheat fell EUR1.00/tonne to EUR190.75/tonne, Mar 14 Paris corn was down EUR0.25/tonne at EUR172.25/tonne and Feb 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR0.75/tonne to EUR361.75/tonne.

With the US closed, fresh news was relatively thin on the ground and the EU was left to paddle it's own canoe. Which particular creek it decided to go down depends on whether you are a bull or a bear. Suffice to say that the markets appeared to be playing catch-up with Chicago wheat which fell to fresh 3 1/2 year lows on Friday night.

The wheat screens went red on wheat straight after the bell and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the day. Both old crop Mar 14 and new crop Nov 14 London wheat traded at new contract lows. Jan 14 meanwhile closed at the lowest level for a front month since late 2011. In addition to those sorry set of records, Nov 14 Paris wheat matched the existing contract low of EUR182.00/tonne set way back at harvest time.

Egypt said that they now have enough wheat bought to last them until the first week in May, although statements like that don't normally count for much. They bought 295 TMT of wheat for Feb 15-28 shipment late last week, and will probably be back for March this week or next week, especially if prices continue to fall. Their own harvest is due to begin in April.

Algeria announced a tender for milling wheat for April shipment today. The tender was for optional origin, although French wheat is the customary favourite. They are estimated to have already bought around 4 MMT of French wheat this season.

Cheap FSU corn continues to head to Europe from Russia and Ukraine to replace wheat. Meanwhile competition for sales on the wheat export market remains quite fierce, as highlighted by the last Egyptian tender where less than $1.50 separated French, Russian, Ukraine and US wheat.

Russia said that they'd exported a record near 682 TMT of corn in December, up 15.7% from November and almost three times the volume shipped out in December 2012. Turkey was the top buyer, with EU destination Spain in second place.

The local Ag Ministry in Stavropol, one of Russia's leading wheat production regions, said that 98.8% of winter grains had emerged. They estimated that 43.9% of the crop in good condition, and rated a further 50.6% as satisfactory, leaving only 5.4% as poor.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 20.5 MMT of grains to Jan 17, an increase of 34% on last season. That total includes 11.33 MMT of corn, 6.94 MMT of wheat and 2.07 MMT of barley.

In addition, they've also exported 2 MMT of rapeseed and 0.8 MMT of soybeans, they added.

Bangladesh picked up a best price of $305.60 C&F from a Thai trading house in their wheat re-tender. Iraq saw a best offer of $334.78 CIFFO in their hard wheat tender. Australia was the cheapest origin by far. The best Canadian offer was $347 and the cheapest US offer was a couple of dollars dearer than that.

Oil World said that the EU crushed 10.3 MMT of rapeseed in the 5-months Jul/Nov 2013, a 4% rise on the same period in 2012. The EU sunflower crush was up 7.4% to 2.9 MMT and the EU soybean crush down 1.9% to 5.1 MMT, they added.