EU Grains Mostly Lower, Despite Euro Weakness, As Yield Estimates Nudged Higher

26/05/15 -- EU grains closed mostly lower, although rapeseed managed to buck the trend posting decent gains.

The day ended with new front month Jul 15 London wheat down GBP1.65/tonne at GBP110.60/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat fell EUR1.50/tonne to EUR181.00/tonne, Jun 15 Paris corn was EUR0.25/tonne easier at EUR152.75/tonne whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed rose EUR3.75/tonne to close at EUR363.00/tonne.

The euro was sharply weaker again, following weekend comments from one Greek minister that there wasn't enough money in the coffers to pay the IMF what they are due next month, the first payment of which falls on June 5. That may have supported Paris grains a little.

US wheat was sharply lower though, despite another weekend deluge of rain on the Southern Plains making international news headlines. There's certainly at the very least likely to be some quality downgrades to wheat that's ready for harvesting in Texas and Oklahoma, but there's talk in some quarters that the crop in Kansas (the leading US wheat producing state) may have been sufficiently further behind to have derived some benefit from recent rains.

Heavy rain is delaying planting in Kazakhstan, which is only 22% sown on 3.24 million ha. Last year they'd already sown an area of 8.14 million ha by this date.

Russian planting is also delayed, although not by as much as that. According to the Russian Ag Ministry spring grains there are 71.2% sown on 22.1 million ha, which is 2.3 million less than a year ago. Spring wheat is 62.6% sown on 8.2 million ha (versus 9.3 million a year ago), with barley planting 79.2% complete on 6.5 million ha (7.5 million a year ago) and corn planting 87.9% done on 2.5 million ha (2.4 million a year ago). The weather there has now turned hot and dry.

Russia was reported to have bought 38 TMT of wheat at intervention today, paying around RUB9,900/tonne for grade-3 wheat (12.5% milling wheat) - the equivalent of around $196/tonne.

Rusagrotrans estimated Russia's May grain exports at 1.0-1.1 MMT, rising to around 1.3 MMT in June. Wheat will account for around half (550 TMT) of this month's exports, they said.

Ukragroconsult estimated the Ukraine grain crop at 54.9 MMT, a 2.6 MMT rise on their previous forecast, but still 5.1 MMT less than the official Ag Ministry estimate.

Senalia - the largest silo operator in the French leading port of Rouen - are said to have re-opened their doors for the intake of wheat today, following a pick-up in export demand.

The EU Commission's MARS unit raised their forecast for EU-28 soft wheat yields from the 5.89 MT/ha forecast a month ago to 5.93 MT/ha.

"In general crop growth conditions throughout Europe are beneficial. This is reflected in our forecasts, which at EU-28 level are above average of the last five years," they said.

They nudged EU-28 average barley yields up from 4.71 MT/ha to 4.75 MT/ha, with OSR yields increased from 3.35 MT/ha to 3.42 MT/ha, and left those for corn unchanged at 7.22 MT/ha.

In the UK, they increased potential wheat yields this year from 8.08 MT/ha to 8.14 MT/ha, a 5.5% reduction from a year ago but 6.6% above the 5-year average. Barley yields were pegged at 6.16 MT/ha, up from 6.04 MT/ha a month ago and OSR yields estimated at 3.63 MT/ha versus 3.68 MT/ha a month ago.

French soft wheat yields this year were raised from 7.25 MT/ha to 7.54 MT/ha and German yields left unchanged at 8.05 MT/ha. In France "the favourable conditions observed since the beginning of the season have continued." In Germany "crop growth conditions continued to be beneficial due to seasonal temperatures and well distributed rainfall," they said.