Paris Wheat Hits Best Levels Since Late January

17/03/15 -- EU grains closed mixed, but wheat was mostly a little higher with Paris wheat closing at the best levels for a front month since late January.

At the finish, Mar 15 London wheat was up GBP0.90/tonne at GBP119.85/tonne; May 15 Paris wheat was EUR0.25/tonne higher at EUR193.00/tonne; Jun 15 Paris corn was EUR0.25/tonne lower at EUR164.75/tonne; May 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR1.75/tonne easier at EUR369.25/tonne.

Fresh news was relatively scarce. Strong exports, helped by the weak euro, continue to support the continental market.

The HGCA said that the Scottish winter wheat area was up 2.3% (as of Dec 1) at almost 105k ha. Add that to their previous forecast of 1.69 million ha for England and Wales and we get a UK area of around 1.8 million ha (excluding Northern Ireland where very little is grown).

That's around 100k ha down on last year, "meaning that the gap could potentially be filled by spring plantings,"they say.

It's higher than Copa Cogeca's recent 1.687 million ha estimate, but lower than Origin's 1.95 million ha forecast.

The HGCA went on to estimate the Scottish winter barley area at just over 55k ha, with the winter OSR area north of the border coming in at almost 36.5k ha.

Those numbers take the total UK winter barley area to around 426k ha versus 421k ha a year ago. Winter OSR plantings are at almost 670k ha versus a total OSR area of 719k ha this time last year.

In other news, Rusagrotrans forecast Russia's March grain exports at around 1.1 MMT, falling to 1 MMT in April, 725 TMT in May and 675 TMT in June.

That equals 3.5 MMT over the entire period, and would take the nation's full season grain exports to around 28 MMT versus 25.3 MMT last season.

Wheat will account for 20.4 MMT of this season's exports (73%), along with 5 MMT of barley (18%) and 2.3 MMT of corn (8%), they say.

In 2013/14 Russia's wheat exports were 18.3 MMT, or 72% of total grain shipments, with barley accounting for 2.7 MMT (11%) and corn 4 MMT (16%), they added.

Russian spring grain plantings are still at their fledgling stage at only 0.8% complete on an area of 295k ha, say the Ag Ministry. Ukraine spring grain plantings are 8% complete on 184k ha.

Ukraine said that their Mar 1 grain stocks were 19.3 MMT, up 22% on a year ago. Wheat accounts for 6.2 MMT of that total, along with 1.6 MMT of barley and 10.7 MMT of corn, say their Ag Ministry.

Independent agronomist Mike Lee and his team will begin a 4,000 km 10-day crop tour of southern Russia and Ukraine starting in Kursk, focusing on crop condition of the over wintered crops, starting next week. Find out more and be one of the first to get the news click here