EU Grains Playing Catch Up End Mostly Lower

29/12/14 -- EU grains closed a two-sided session mostly lower. Wheat was still playing catch-up with a US market that closed with significant losses on Christmas Eve.

The day ended with Jan 15 London wheat down GBP0.40/tonne to GBP134.95/tonne, Jan 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne lower at EUR200.00/tonne, Jan 15 Paris corn was EUR2.75/tonne easier at EUR158.75/tonne, whilst Feb 15 Paris rapeseed ended up EUR1.75/tonne at EUR355.25/tonne.

The trade is still digesting the news of a Russian wheat export duty of a minimum EUR35/tonne starting Feb 1, 2015. It will probably take until next week for things to settle down, with trade thin and many participants still absent until after the New Year break.

For all the talk of Russian exports being deliberately restricted by red tape in recent weeks, APK Inform said that Russian seaports shipped out 556.1 TMT of grains last week, up from only 282.5 TMT the week before. Wheat accounted for 319.9 TMT (58%) of last week's total, with barley at 177.1 TMT (32%) and corn 56.1 TMT (10%).

The Russian Ag Ministry said that exports had now reached 20.4 MMT, a 30% increase on year ago levels. That total includes 16 MMT of wheat, 3.1 MMT of barley and 1.1 MMT of corn.

Offers out of Russia for Feb onwards are now said to be non-existent, with traders appearing to want to concentrate their efforts on shipping what they've already got sold in January.

Ukraine seaports meanwhile exported 829.6 MMT of grains last week, APK Inform said. Unlike Russia, they are now majoring in corn, which accounted for 80% of that total.

Their Ag Ministry said that exports so far this season (to Dec 24) are slightly behind Russia's at 18.2 MMT, of which 7.9 MMT is wheat, 6.6 MMT corn and 3.6 MMT barley.

So Russia's participation as a wheat seller looks to be more or less over between now and the end of June. Ukraine are concentrating their efforts on corn. That should be good news for EU wheat.

Kazakhstan said that their 2014 grain harvest came in at 17 MMT, a 6.6% decline on last year.

India said that growers there had planted 27.96 million hectares of wheat, which is behind last year's pace when 28.69 million ha had been sown.

Turkey tendered for 100 TMT of optional origin corn for Feb/Mar shipment.