EU Grains Down Again

25/02/15 -- EU grains closed lower on the day, with Mar 15 London wheat down GBP2.00/tonne at GBP116.50/tonne, Mar 15 Paris wheat was down EUR1.25/tonne at EUR184.50/tonne, Mar 15 Paris corn fell EUR0.50/tonne to EUR148.75/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed was down EUR2.25/tonne at EUR359.50/tonne.

The Ukraine Hydrometeorlogical Centre said that 15% of winter grains in the country could need replanting in the spring, up from only 4% a year ago and versus the norm of 7%.

They forecast winter wheat yields this year at 3.2-3.5 MT/ha versus 4.0 MT/ha a year ago.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry said that the country had exported 24 MMT of grains so far this season, of which 9.1 MMT is wheat, 3.9 MMT barley and 10.8 MMT corn.

The Italian Ag Ministry said that plantings of soft wheat in the country were down 7.6%, and that corn sowings would fall 8%, and those of OSR will decline 6.5% for the 2015 harvest. Durum wheat plantings will increase 2.9%, the barley area will rise 3.6% and that of soybeans will increase 13.5%, they said.

Russia picked up 6,210 MT of grains at its latest intervention purchase round, taking the total bought so far to only 365 TMT.

Private reports out of Russia suggest that winter crop conditions are poor, and that despite government assurances, access to subsidised low interest loans aren't readily available.

Private loan rates are 25% or more, which doesn't bode well for growers' ability to fund spring plantings and purchase other inputs.

Still though, the market seems incredibly relaxed about this situation. Agri commodities are certainly not flavour of the month at the moment amongst the investment community, and the path of least resistance is downwards.

In other news, Bangladesh are tendering for 50,000 MT of optional origin wheat. France has had some unusual success in their recent tenders. Israel bought 90,000 MT of corn and 25,000 MT of feed wheat, both of optional origin in a tender. Iraq cancelled a tender to import 50,000 MT of optional origin hard wheat for March shipment.