EU Grains Consolidate Ahead Of Weekend

19/12/14 -- EU grains closed lower, with wheat giving up a fair chunk of the week's gains, even so wheat both side of the Channel and rapeseed still posted decent advance compared with last Friday.

The day ended with Jan 15 London wheat down GBP3.10/tonne to GBP132.30/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR4.25/tonne lower at EUR196.00/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was EUR1.50/tonne easier at EUR156.50/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended down EUR0.25/tonne at EUR349.25/tonne.

For the week London wheat finished GBP2.10/tonne higher, with Paris wheat up EUR7.25/tonne and rapeseed EUR6.50/tonne firmer. Corn lost EUR0.75/tonne.

I guess that weakness in wheat today could be attributed to profit-taking ahead of the weekend and with next week's trade likely to be thin in a holiday shortened week. Russia still dominates the news.

The Russian Association of Grain Exporters, who Agrimoney say handles 75% of the country's foreign grain shipments, said it had stopped buying on the domestic market "due to the current conditions and circumstances which are beyond their control."

In a statement that may have lost something in translation they were quoted as saying that they will also "prevent further implementation of export contracts as well...due to their civic awareness and the Union’s responsibilities."

Members of the Association include most of the leading names in the business, such as Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, Bunge, Aston, Valars etc. Reports also suggest that the Association said that it urged other non-member companies to join the initiative. It looks like those not wishing to do so will simply have the appropriate paperwork withheld anyway.

Reports still persist of vessels loaded with grain sat idle waiting for the necessary documentation to leave port, including at least one destined for Egypt - a supposed "approved" destination.

Private Egyptian buyers are said to be stepping up their interest in wheat from other origins like Ukraine and Europe.

Brussels said that they'd issued almost 514 MT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week, up from 344 TMT a week ago. That takes the total volume released so far to 13.6 MMT.

Looking ahead, "very serious drought persists in key winter wheat areas, despite the snow, central Ukraine, Russia Black Earth and Volga districts all receiving less than 40% of normal moisture in the past month. Krasnodar, one of the highest yielding wheat areas in the country, in southern Russia is also very dry," said Martell Crop Projections.