EU Grains Rise Along With Black Sea Tensions

08/04/14 -- EU grains closed mostly higher on speculative interest, as Black Sea tensions run higher once more. The BBC reported that "Nato has warned Russia that further intervention in Ukraine would be a 'historic mistake' with grave consequences."

The day ended with May 14 London wheat up GBP3.85/tonne to GBP167.50/tonne, and with new crop Nov 14 London wheat closing GBP2.20/tonne firmer at GBP155.75/tonne. May 14 Paris wheat closed EUR1.00/tonne higher at EUR208.25/tonne, Jun 14 Paris corn was up EUR1.75/tonne at EUR186.25/tonne, whilst May 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR2.25/tonne to close at EUR413.25/tonne.

At least for now though, exports out of Ukraine continue unhindered. The Ministry there reported total marketing year to date grain exports at almost 28 MMT, of which 17.7 MMT is corn and 7.9 MMT wheat.

There's a further 176 TMT already loaded on vessels waiting to leave, and an additional in excess of 1 MMT at the ports waiting to load/leave, they added.

The Ukraine Ministry also said that early spring grain plantings had been completed on almost 2.5 million acres (or 90% of the originally estimated area), including 1.89m ha of barley.

The country has also planted over 500k ha of sunflowers, 53k ha of corn and 7k ha of soybeans, they added.

Russia meanwhile has planted 1.9 million ha of early spring grains,which is well up on only 848k ha ha this time a year ago.

The USDA attache in Europe estimated the 2014/15 wheat crop here at 144.8 MMT, up 1.5 MMT versus 143.3 MMT a year ago. They see exports falling 14% at 25 MMT compared to 29 MMT in 2013/14.

Libya is tendering for 30,000 MT of milling wheat. Otherwise the international tender line-up for wheat is pretty thin.

There are loud concerns regarding China, and it's import needs for the year ahead.

The USDA's FAS office over there pegged Chinese corn imports at only 4 MMT inn 2013/14 versus the official USDA estimate of 5 MMT (and some private forecasts earlier in the season that were as high as 10 MMT). They see that demand falling to only 3 MMT in 2014/15.

The same office estimate Chinese wheat imports at 7 MMT this season (versus the USDA's 8 MMT), falling to just 3 MMT in 2014/15.