EU Grains Mixed, Fresh News Lacking With US Markets Closed

16/02/15 -- EU grains were mixed. With US markets closed for the President's Day holiday this was never likely to be an active, high volume session. The only real impetus coming from Friday night's double digit gains in Chicago and Minneapolis wheat.

At the finish, Mar 15 London wheat was up GBP0.80/tonne to GBP123.55/tonne; Mar 15 Paris wheat was EUR2.00/tonne higher at EUR189.00/tonne; Mar 15 Paris corn was EUR0.25/tonne lower at EUR152.75/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was down EUR0.75/tonne to EUR356.50/tonne.

Fresh news was generally lacking. As well as US markets being closed, they are on holiday in Brazil and Argentina, and the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations begin later this week.

The pound was ultimately a bit firmer again against the euro, hitting a new 7-year high after talks between EU finance ministers and Greece failed to reach an agreement.

Following the introduction of the new Russian export duty on wheat, the country's Ag Ministry said that they'd shipped out 296 TMT of grains in the Feb 1-11 period, including only 87 TMT of wheat. The bulk of those exports were barley at 136 TMT, and also included 51 TMT of corn.

That takes Russia's season to date grain exports to 23.62 MMT, a 31.6% rise on this time last year. Wheat accounts for 18.56 MMT of that, along with 3.47 MMT of barley and 1.27 MMT of corn.

APK Inform however reported some figures for Russian exports via seaports for the latest week (Feb 9-15), and these look less bearish with regards to wheat at 401.6 TMT of grain, of which 326 TMT, or 80%, was wheat.

Ukraine seaports meanwhile shipped out 547.8 TMT of grains last week, down from 837.9 TMT the previous week, they said.

At 457.3 TMT, corn accounted for 80% of last week's exported volume versus 86% the previous week.

Canada said that their wheat exports (excluding durum) for the season so far to Feb 8 were up 5% on a year ago at 8.4 MMT. Durum wheat exports were up 8% at 2.7 MMT and those of canola also 8% higher at 4.3 MMT.

Whilst northern hemisphere grain prices remain in the doldrums, South African corn is hitting contract highs on heat and dryness damage, Agrimoney reported. The USDA currently forecasts their 2014/15 corn exports at 2 MMT, a similar figure to last season.