EU Grains Closing Comments - Friday

11/04/14 -- EU grains closed mixed but mostly lower to end the week, but still managed net gains for the week as a whole.

The day ended with May 14 London wheat down GBP0.45/tonne to GBP167.00/tonne, and with new crop Nov 14 London wheat closing GBP0.75/tonne weaker at GBP155.25/tonne. May 14 Paris wheat closed EUR1.50/tonne higher at EUR209.75/tonne, Jun 14 Paris corn was down EUR1.25/tonne at EUR187.00/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.50/tonne to close at EUR417.00/tonne.

For the week that's puts May 14 London wheat GBP3.55/tonne higher, and new crop Nov 14 up GBP3.30/tonne. May 14 Paris finished the week EUR3.25/tonne higher than last Friday, with Jun 14 corn up EUR2.75/tonne and May 14 rapeseed EUR8.25/tonne firmer.

French crop maturity remains well advanced compared to last year, with 96% of the nation's winter wheat crop now displaying an ear of at least 1cm long versus only 32% this time in 2013. All the country's winter barley is at that stage, compared also to only 32% a year ago. Spring barley emergence is 94% versus 45% a year ago, and corn planting is 12% done, up 10 points in a week and compared to only 1% this time last year.

As far as crop conditions go, FranceAgriMer said that 75% of the French winter wheat crop is good to very good, unchanged from last week and 11 points ahead of last year. French winter barley is also 75% good/very good versus 65% this time last year. Spring barley is rated 80% good/very good versus 78% a year ago.

The French oilseed growers group FOP estimated the rapeseed crop there this year at 5.0-5.2 MMT, a 14-18% rise on last year's 4.4 MMT.

Egypt's GASC bought 230 TMT of wheat from May 1-10 shipment at around $300/tonne including freight. Romania will supply two cargoes and Ukraine and Russia one each. French and US wheat was uncompetitive.

Reuters reported that two vessels carrying Russian wheat to Egypt had been delayed due to difficulties obtaining Letters of Credit. Chinese soybean buyers are said to be having similar problems.

India said that it is picking up best bids at around $284-285/tonne in various tenders to sell wheat from it's government owned stockpile.

Algeria bought 450,000 MT of optional origin milling wheat for June shipment. France is typically the most likely supplier.

Ukraine said that it has exported 28.34 MMT of grains so far this season, including 7.93 MMT of wheat, 17.97 MMT of corn and 2.15 MMT of barley. The Ministry said that there's a further 1.13 MMT of grain portside waiting to load, and an additional 28 TMT already loaded and about to leave. Full season exports are expected to be a record 33 MMT.

The European Parliament look set to grant Ukraine special status to export not just corn, but also wheat and barley into the EU under duty-free quotas, in an effort to "cement Kiev's historic shift away from Russia" - according to a report on Reuters. The move could trigger buying interest for wheat from the likes of Spain, say Agritel. They would of course normally be one of the main export homes for UK wheat.

Russia said that they had planted 1.5 million hectares of early spring grains, or 4.7% of intentions, which is around double the area planted a year ago at this time. Russia's corn seed imports in March were said to be 42% higher than a year ago. Ukraine early spring planting is almost complete, and Belarus is past three quarters done.

Brussels announced 585 TMT of soft wheat export licences this week, along with import licences for 347 TMT of corn.

Spring looks like it's finally sprung, in fact it felt more like summer was here walking Nogger's Dog down the beach at Saltburn today. The market will soon start to focus on harvest 2014, which looks like coming early for many across Europe and in the Black Sea area.