EU Grains Closing Comments - Wednesday Night

29/04/15 -- EU grains closed mixed on the day, with wheat mostly consolidating a little higher following recent losses.

The day ended with May 15 London wheat up GBP0.25/tonne at GBP112.00/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat closed EUR0.50/tonne higher at EUR178.25/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn was EUR0.50/tonne lower at EUR157.75/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed was up EUR4.00/tonne at EUR382.75/tonne.

This was a new one year high on a front month for Paris rapeseed, with the old crop May 15 contract going off the board tomorrow. The new front month position, new crop Aug 15, closed EUR2.75/tonne lower at EUR356.50/tonne.

Old crop rapeseed availability in France is clearly tight and technical, with 2014/15 ending stocks pegged at less than 90,000 MT.

Following a largely dry past couple of weeks, almost the whole of Europe, barring southern Spain and Italy, are forecast to receive better than average rains across the next fortnight. That should be beneficial to both winter grains and newly planted spring crops.

French corn planting progress is expected to have made great strides in the past week. FranceAgriMer will update us on that tomorrow, although their figures will only be based on plantings as of Monday night.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was reported as saying that the country was set to reduce to export duty on wheat at some point during the first half of May.

The tax won't go away completely, but will be eased back closer to zero, and the government will then apply a formula linking it to the value of the rouble, and the price of grain on the global market.

If the rouble weakens, or grain prices rise sharply (however unlikely that seems at the moment!), then the duty will increase, he indicated. This might suggest that some sort of export tax will remain on wheat into new crop.

The Russian Ag Ministry said that they'd bought 57,645 TMT of grains at today's intervention purchase round, taking the total purchased so far (since Sep 30) to 783,655 MT. Farmer sales have picked up noticably since the duty was introduced.

The Ministry also said that spring plantings in Russia have now been completed on 4.9 million ha, or 15.8% of plan. That's well behind last year's pace of 6.2 million ha.

The area sown so far includes 560.6k ha of spring wheat (4.3% of the government forecast), 2.5 million ha (25%) of barley and almost 1 million ha (35.2%) of corn.

On the international tender front, private Egyptian buyers were said to have picked up around 26,000 MT of Argentine wheat. Algeria were reported to have booked around 141,000 MT of Argentine corn. South Korea were said to have bought 69,000 MT of optional origin feed wheat. Jordan were said to have bought 100,000 MT of probably Romanian wheat for Dec/Jan shipment.