French Grains Fall Whilst US And UK Holiday

26/05/14 -- London and US markets may have been closed for the Spring Bank and Memorial Day holidays, but it was business as usual in Paris.

The day ended with Nov 14 Paris wheat closing EUR2.50/tonne lower at EUR192.75/tonne, Jun 14 Paris corn was down EUR1.25/tonne at EUR174.50/tonne and Aug 14 Paris rapeseed closing EUR2.50/tonne weaker at EUR356.00/tonne.

As you might imagine, fresh news was relatively lacking, and lower still seems to be the path of least resistance. The win for the pro-West "King Chocolate" Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine's weekend elections was seen as reassuring, even if it was expected.

Widespread rains across the UK and France late last week and over the weekend will spread east to Germany and Poland over the next few days, further improving crop prospects in Europe and taking us one step closer to the crop being "made".

FranceAgriMer flagged up improved French winter wheat and barley conditions on Friday, there could be further upgrades at the end of this week.

UK crop prospects continue to look very promising indeed.

Russia reported spring plantings well advanced compared with a year ago, with spring wheat almost 80% done, spring barley nearly 88% complete and 95% of the forecast corn acreage now in the ground.

SovEcon kept their forecast for the 2014 Russian grain crop unchanged at 90 MMT, despite the Ministry's assertion that production might rise to a 6-year high 100 MMT last week. Large parts of the country have been hot and dry of late, if this week's advertised rain fails to materialise then some of these more optimistic forecasts may have to be downgraded, IKAR said.

Both analysts though seem to agree that the situation is not critical yet. The GFS model has 2-3 times normal rainfall in the forecast for the key southern and western parts of Russia across the next 15 days. The CMC model has a similar volume of precipitation forecast, but spreading much further east into the Urals, Siberia and all of Kazakhstan. Both models still show temperatures higher than normal for the next fortnight though.

APK Inform said that Ukraine's grain exports via seaports were up 140% from the previous week to nearly 588 TMT for the week through to May 25. That total included over 371 TMT of corn and nearly 214 TMT of wheat.

Russia said that it had exported 1.13 MMT of grains in the period May 1-21, including 796 TMT of wheat and 274 TMT of corn. Exports for the marketing year to date now stand at 24.1 MMT, an increase of almost 62% versus the same period in 2012/13.

Algeria is tendering for 50 TMT of milling wheat for August delivery. Private Israeli buyers are tendering for 40 TMT of optional origin feed wheat and 108 TMT of US, South American, European or Black Sea corn.

India said that government stores will hold 70 MMT of grain stocks by early June versus the official minimum requirement of 32 MMT on July 1.