EU Grains Mixed, Sterling Weakness Supports London Wheat

17/11/14 -- EU grains closed mostly mixed amidst a general lack of fresh news. Sterling weakness was again a supportive factor for London wheat, not that there's much sign of it leading to increased export activity just yet.

At the finish Nov 14 London wheat was down GBP0.35/tonne at GBP123.65/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne lower at EUR173.50/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was EUR1.00/tonne weaker at EUR152.00/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed was up EUR0.75/tonne to EUR336.50/tonne.

The pound fell to a new lowest level in more than a year against the US dollar. It's currently down 2.2% against the US currency so far this month. You may recall it's been noted on here before that November is traditionally a bad month for "cable" (the pound/dollar), sterling has fallen against the greenback for 10 of the last 14 years, and 14 of the last 20.

Russia announced that it's grain harvest was now past 97% done at 109.6 MMT in bunker weight. That includes 62.1 MMT of wheat, 21.2 MMT of barley and 10.2 MMT of corn. Harvesting of the latter has now reached 90% complete.

The harvest in Siberia is 95% done and in the Urals region it's only 87.5% complete.

Customs data shows that Russia exported 2.47 MMT of wheat in October. That's 17% less than in September, but a 35.5% rise versus 12 months previously. Egypt was the top home, accounting for more than 25% of exports last month.

Russia said that it had exported 1.274 MMT of grains in the Nov 1-12 period, including 912 TMT of wheat, 274 TMT of barley and 71 TMT of corn.

That takes the marketing year to date export total to 16.242 MMT, a 39% rise compared with a year ago. Of that total 13.233 MMT is wheat, 2.211 MT is barley and 658 TMT is corn.

APK Inform said that Ukraine's grain exports via seaports fell noticeably last week, down to 472.5 TMT from 666.5 TMT the previous week, without offering a reason why. Wheat accounted for 28% of that total, and corn 70%. The trend towards majoring on corn exports continues, as last week's proportion of total exports was 65% and the week before it was 53%.

The Ukraine State Statistics Service said the country's grain stocks as on Nov 1 were up 31% compared with a year ago.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that 89% of the country's planted winter grains area had emerged, and that 83% of that was in good to satisfactory condition.

The acute weakness of both the Russian rouble and Ukraine hryvnia may be leading farmers to "hoard" their remaining grain stocks it is thought. Domestic offers are hard to find in both countries, by all accounts.