French Wheat Prices Rise For Third Day

24/07/14 -- EU grains closed mixed, but mostly higher. Paris wheat has now finished higher for three sessions in a row, it's been a while since we've been able to say that.

The day ended with new crop Nov 14 London wheat closing GBP0.15/tonne firmer at GBP127.75/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat was EUR1.50/tonne higher at EUR181.00/tonne, Aug 14 Paris corn was up EUR1.00/tonne to EUR158.75/tonne and Aug 14 Paris rapeseed fell EUR2.50/tonne to EUR319.25/tonne.

French, and possibly German, quality downgrades are what's been supporting the wheat market this week. FranceAgriMer will update us with some harvest progress figures tomorrow, but as far as some hard facts on quality are concerned we remain stuck with only anecdotal reports for the time being.

"Wet conditions experienced in recent weeks have certainly degraded lots of common wheat and durum wheat, with some crops sprouting and with very low Hagberg falling numbers," is the best translation I can offer you from one leading French agricultural website.

Closer to home, the HGCA estimated that the UK winter barley harvest is around 35% done, with the winter OSR crop in the region of 45% cut, along with the first few bits on winter wheat.

In southern counties as much as 80% of the winter barley and rapeseed crops have already been harvested, they said.

OSR yields are above average, although perhaps lower than farmer expectations, and range anywhere from 2.2-5.2 MT/ha, with the high end coming from "virgin" OSR land, they reported. Oil content is generally in the 42-46% range, they added.

Winter barley yields are "promising" with a tentative early forecast on national yields being around 7.0-7.2 MT/ha, they said. That's considerably higher than the 6.49 MT/ha forecast by the EU Commission's MARS unit earlier in the week.

Impressive early grain yields meanwhile keep getting reported out of Russia. The Stavropol region is already said to be 90% harvested, producing a crop of 7.27 MMT so far, with yields up 25.6% on last year at 3.87 MT/ha and with 83% of the wheat harvested making milling standard. The Rostov region is 73% harvested at 6.5 MMT (including 5.8 MMT of wheat), and yields here are said to be 45% up on a year ago at 3.2 MT/ha.

On a national level, the Russian Ministry said that 22% of the planned area has been harvested producing a crop of 35.6 MMT to date, with yields at 3.47 MT/ha, a 20.5% hike on last year. Wheat accounts for 29.2 MMT of that total, off 32% of the planned area, with yields up 17.6% at 3.6 MT/ha.

Egypt's GASC paid around $256.60/tonne for a combo of Russian/Romanian and Ukraine 12.5% milling wheat yesterday, that's a touch under GBP151/tonne including shipping and handling costs.

Russian/Ukraine feed wheat FOB the Black Sea is said to be offered around $198/tonne, which is in the region of GBP116.50/tonne. Romanian feed wheat CIF Spain is said to be offered at EUR163/tonne, which is less than GBP130/tonne including freight. Ukraine new crop corn offers meanwhile have now slid to around $185-187/tonne, which is below GBP110/tonne on an FOB basis.