EU Grains Mixed, Rapeseed Hits Near One Year High

14/04/15 -- EU grains were mixed on the day with May 15 London wheat ending GBP0.45/tonne higher at GBP118.50/tonne, May 15 Paris wheat was down EUR1.00/tonne at EUR186.75/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn advanced EUR0.75/tonne to EUR165.00/tonne and May 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR0.25/tonne to close at EUR374.75/tonne.

For rapeseed this was the best close for a front month in almost a year.

Oil World estimated the EU-28 2015 rapeseed crop at 21.5 MMT, down 11% versus 24.2 MMT a year ago. That's partly due to lower plantings (down 4.4% at 6.5 million ha), and also reduced yield expectations (with the EU average seen down 8.3% at 3.3 MT/ha).

Nevertheless, this would still be Europe's second largest crop ever.

Production in Germany is seen falling 1 MMT, or almost 16%, to 5.3 MMT. That's still just enough to keep them top of the EU production table though, just ahead of France's 5.2 MMT crop.

In the UK, output is forecast at 2.3 MMT, an 8% decline on last year. Plantings here were estimated 4.5% lower at 640k ha, with anticipated yields falling 2.5% to average 3.56 MT/ha.

In their first estimate for 2015, the USDA's FAS in Europe forecast this year's all wheat crop at 151.0 MMT, a 3.5% decline on last year. They see wheat exports in 2015/16 down 1 MMT on this season's anticipated record 32.5 MMT, but that's still a decent volume. Ending stocks next season are estimated at 6.7 MMT, a decrease of more than 16% versus 8.0 MMT at the end of the current marketing year.

For corn, they estimate an EU-28 crop of 67.7 MMT in 2015, a 6 MMT fall, or down 8%, compared to last year's record. They forecast the bloc's corn imports therefore rising 4 MMT next season, or 50%, to 12 MMT.

In other news, APK Inform said that Russia's seaports exported almost 329 TMT of grains last week, a similar volume to the previous week (322 TMT). That total included 190.5 TMT of wheat, 41.6 TMT of corn and 90.3 TMT of barley.

Rusagrotrans reduced their forecast for Russia's April grain exports from 1.2 MMT to 1.1 MMT, which includes around 400 TMT of wheat (versus 534 TMT in March), 300 TMT of barley (from 734 TMT in March) and 350 TMT of corn (from 440 TMT last month).

The Russian Ag Ministry estimated spring crops had been planted on 1.6 million ha, or 5% of the forecast for the season, down versus 2.0 million ha this time a year ago.

It is interesting to note that Russia's imports of corn seed fell sharply last month compared to a year previously, down almost 38%, according to customs data. That doesn't bode well for final yields later this year.

It is also probably likely that this situation is also being replicated in spring wheat and barley plantings, with more lower quality home grown seed getting sown, rather than higher yielding (but more expensive) hybrid varieties.

Ukraine seaports exported almost 450 TMT of grain last week, up sharply from 303 TMT the previous week. The total was made up entirely of corn (360 TMT) and a little wheat (89.5 TMT), said APK Inform.

The Kazakhstan Ag Ministry estimated their Apr 1 grain stocks at almost 10 MMT including more than 8.5 MMT of wheat.