EU Grains Closing Report - Moon Made Of Green Cheese Says Russian Ag Min

11/02/15 -- EU grains were mixed, as traders digested the details of last night's USDA report.

At the finish, Mar 15 London wheat was down GBP0.55/tonne to GBP121.85/tonne; Mar 15 Paris wheat was EUR0.75/tonne higher at EUR18.75/tonne; Mar 15 Paris corn was EUR1.25/tonne lower at EUR153.25/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was up EUR0.25/tonne to EUR356.75/tonne.

Whilst the USDA increased 2014/15 world wheat production (to a new record 725 MMT) and ending stocks, they also raised projected EU exports to a second highest ever 31 MMT and reduced carryout here, although the latter would still be the highest since 2008/09 at 16.3 MMT.

At 155.7 MMT this season's EU-28 wheat crop is an all time high, and up more than 12 MMT on a year ago for an 8.5% rise. Corn production in Europe in 2014 was also a record high in excess of 74 MMT. At just shy of 60 MMT the EU-28 barley crop, whilst not a record, was the highest since 2009/10.

Meanwhile rapeseed output in Europe in 2014 also set a new record in excess of 24 MMT, for a 14% increase on a year ago.

In addition, the USDA raised their forecast for last year's Ukraine corn crop by 1.45 MMT to a second highest ever 28.5 MMT. "A steady increase in the use of imported hybrid seed over the past ten years has been largely responsible for a concurrent increase in yield, and seed imports for the 2014/15 crop increased by about 20 percent from the previous year," they said.

Ukraine's corn exports were raised 1.5 MMT to 18 MMT, and a decent proportion of that of course will be destined for Europe.

So clearly, from a production perspective, EU consumers are blessed with an array of grains and oilseeds from which to chose. Nothing very bullish there then.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country had exported nearly 22.7 MMT of grains so far this season, including 8.9 MMT of wheat, 3.8 MMT of barley and 9.7 MMT of corn.

In other news, the latest UK customs data shows that we exported 225 TMT of wheat in December, bringing the season so far total to 938 TMT. The HGCA report that around 30% of these exports went to non-EU homes, which is the largest volume for this period since 1996/97, they say.

The reduced volume of exports to Europe is clearly partly down to euro weakness, as well as an abundance of lower quality grain on the continent this year.

Jordan bought 100,000 MT of optional origin hard wheat for September shipment in a tender. They cancelled a tender for a similar volume of feed barley.

The head of the Russian Ag Ministry forecast that the country would produce 100 MMT of grains in 2015. Seriously. He just about had enough time to also say that the moon in made of green cheese before he had to leave the podium of the conference he was speaking at because his trousers had caught fire.