Russian Grain Harvest Could Be A Post Soviet Era Record

27/08/14 -- EU grains closed mostly a little higher on the day,although London wheat was flat to a touch lower, hindered by a larger than normal EU/Black Sea feed wheat crop and a firmer sterling.

The day ended with Nov 14 London wheat down GBP0.15/tonne at GBP120.45/tonne, Nov 14 Paris wheat was up EUR0.75/tonne at EUR173.50/tonne, Nov 14 Paris corn was up EUR0.50/tonne from last night's more than 4-year low to EUR151.50/tonne and Nov 14 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.50/tonne to EUR325.75/tonne.

The head of the Russian Grain Union, who often err on the cautious side with their production estimates, said that the country's 2014 grain harvest could beat the current post Soviet era record of 108 MMT set in 2008/09. At the very least the harvest had a very good chance of being the second largest since the break up of the old Soviet Union, he said. Wheat production this year will come in at around 60 MMT, he forecast.

Exports in 2014/15 would be a minimum of 30 MMT, he added. The Russian Ag Ministry yesterday raised their forecast for these to 27.5-30.0 MMT from a previous forecast of 25-27 MMT. Anything in excess of 27.02 MMT would also constitute a record.

Rusagrotrans forecast Russia's August grain exports at a record 4 MMT. Wheat production this year would reach 57.9 MMT, an 11% rise on last year, with barley output up more than 29% to 19.9 MMT, they said.

The 2014 Russian grain harvest currently stands at 72.9 MMT off 54% of the planned area. Wheat accounts for 46.9 MMT of that total off 55.3% of plan, with barley adding a further 16.5 MMT off 67.9% of the forecast area.

Ukraine said that they'd harvested 35.2 MMT of early grains, which excludes corn, off 9.6 million hectares. That total includes 24.4 MMT of wheat and 9.3 MMT of barley.

APK Inform said that Ukraine's seaports had exported 589.2 TMT of grains in the week through to Aug 24, down fractionally on 595.8 TMT a week previously, but a very respectable total nevertheless. Certainly the fighting in the east doesn't appear to be having any effect on exports at the moment. Last week's total included 461.7 TMT of wheat and 123.4 TMT of barley.

The USDA's FAS said that Canada would harvest a fraction under 28 MMT of wheat this year, which is a bit more than the 27.7 MMT forecast by Stats Canada late last week, although 25% down on last year's record crop. Exports will only fall 6% to 21.5 MMT in 2014/15 however, aided by a weak Canadian dollar, they said.

Their equivalent in Europe forecast the wheat crop here at a near record 148.5 MMT, up more than 3% on last year's 144 MMT. They also estimated the EU-28 barley crop at 6.5 MMT, a more than 5% decline on last year when an unusually large area of spring barley was planted. The quality of this year's barley crop is quite high despite rain at harvest time, they said. Corn production will rise nearly 4% to 67.5 MMT this year, they added.

Despite the higher production numbers, wheat exports in 2014/15 will fall more than 21% to 25 MMT, they forecast.