EU Grains Little Changed In Light Consolidation, Crop Estimates Keep Rising

20/06/14 -- EU grains closed mixed on the day, and generally with small gains for the week in light consolidation from recent heavy losses.

The day ended with the Jul 14 London wheat contract down GBP0.15/tonne at GBP139.50/tonne and with new crop Nov 14 London wheat closing GBP0.10/tonne higher at GBP138.35/tonne. Nov 14 Paris wheat closed unchanged at EUR188.25/tonne, Aug 14 Paris corn was also unchanged at EUR176.00/tonne and Aug 14 Paris rapeseed was EUR1.75/tonne firmer at EUR353.25/tonne.

For the week that puts Jul 14 London wheat GBP0.75/tonne firmer, with Nov 14 up GBP1.35/tonne. In Paris, Nov 14 wheat closed the week a euro higher than it began it, Aug 14 corn fell half a euro and Aug 14 rapeseed rose two euros.

Coceral were said to have forecast the EU-28 soft wheat crop at 141.9 MMT, a 6 MMT increase from their March estimate and 4.1% up on last year. Add on durum wheat production and they gave us an EU-28 all wheat crop of 149.4 MMT, close to the 2008 all-time high of 152 MMT.

Separately, Copa Cogeca forecast the EU-28 soft wheat crop a little lower at 140 MMT, and all wheat production at 147.4 MMT - 2 MMT lower than Coceral. Whilst full details of Coceral's figures have not yet been published on their website, Copa Cogeca's have, and their figures include what looks like a low-ball estimate for the 2014 UK wheat crop of "only" 14.85 MMT, using a modest average yield estimate of 7.5 MT/ha.

Coceral increased their forecast for the EU-28 barley crop, although this time by a more modest 600 TMT to 55.9 MMT, a 5.9% decline on a year ago. Copa Cogeca estimated the EU-28 barley crop at 54.5 MMT.

Coceral also increased their forecasts for EU-28 corn and rapeseed production. They put the corn crop this year at 64.6 MMT, a 900 TMT increase from previously and 2.2% higher than a year ago. They raised the bar for the 2014 rapeseed crop to a record 22.8 MMT, a 1.7 MMT increase on their March forecast and 10.7% more than last year.

Copa Cogeca went even higher on corn, forecasting an EU-28 crop of 68 MMT, a 7.3% increase on 2013. For rapeseed they estimated the EU-28 crop at 22.2 MMT, a 9.8% rise on last year, placing production in the UK at just over 2.5 MMT versus 2.1 MMT a year ago, using an average yield estimate of 3.4 MT/ha.

Ukraine said that they'd exported a record 31.9 MMT of grains so far this marketing year, including 9.2 MMT of wheat, 2.4 MMT of barley and 20 MMT of corn.

A Reuters survey placed the 2014/15 Ukraine grain crop at an average guess of 59 MMT (versus 63 MMT last year), with exports almost matching this season at 31 MMT. The Ukraine wheat crop was estimated at 20.7 MMT.

The same survey forecast the Russian 2014/15 grain harvest at 94 MMT, with exports at 27.1 MMT. Last year's crop was officially 92.4 MMT and 2013/14 Russian grain exports are expected to finish at around 25.5 MMT (currently 25 MMT to Jun 11).

SovEcon said that early Russian grain yields (almost entirely barley) are identical to last year's levels, averaging around 5.4 MT/ha in Krasnodar and around 3.7 MT/ha in Stavropol.

The 2014 Ukraine grain harvest meanwhile has produced nearly half a million tonnes of mostly barley already, for which the average yield so far is 2.65 MT/ha.

FranceAgriMer said that 90% of the French corn crop has 6-8 leaves visible compared to only 51% this time a year ago. Spring barley is 100% headed versus only 70% at this point last year.

French winter wheat rated good/very good was cut 2 points from last week to 70% (versus 69% a year ago). Winter barley good/very good was cut one point to 67%, the same as a year ago. Spring barley in the top two categories was also cut a point from last week to 66% (71% a year ago), and corn was trimmed from 88% to 85% good/very good, although that's still sharply higher than 56% a year ago.

French new crop milling wheat is said to be offered at $253/tonne FOB Rouen (the equivalent of GBP149/tonne), with new crop feed barley at $223/tonne FOB (GBP131/tonne) the same location. New crop Russian corn was said to have traded at $206/tonne C&F Marmara (GBP121/tonne).