EU Grains End Mixed, But Finish Overall Losers On The Week

12/06/15 -- EU grains closed mixed. Wheat traded lower for much of the day, but turned around a little in mid-afternoon deals when US markets consolidated a little from the losses of the past few days.

Jul 15 London wheat ended GBP0.90/tonne higher at GBP116.50/tonne, Sep 15 Paris was unchanged at EUR180.25/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was down EUR0.50/tonne at EUR163.25/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed was up EUR2.25/tonne to close at EUR372.50/tonne.

For the week that puts nearby London wheat five pence lower, with Paris wheat down EUR4.25/tonne, corn EUR1.75/tonne easier and rapeseed down EUR4.00/tonne.

Brussels said late yesterday that they'd approved 477,677 MT worth of EU soft wheat export licences this past week. That takes the season to date total to 30.3 MMT, an 11.4% advance on this time last year.

French shipments are slowing up. Grain exports for the past week via the leading French grain hub of Rouen were 49% down on the previous week at 87,747 MT, and a four week low. Soft wheat accounted for 47,747 MT of that total, with Algeria the largest buyer taking 31,500 MT. The UK was also a wheat buyer, taking 4,247 MT. The past week's exports also included 40,000 MT of feed barley destined for China.

The Thompson Reuters crop tour of France, now in the Centre region of the country, said that rapeseed yields are pretty much now set, and likely to be 10-15% down on a year ago, but that there was still time for rain to improve wheat potential. Even so wheat yields will be down 10-15% even if it does rain in the next two weeks, and possibly as much as 25-30% without rain, they said.

Whilst northern France is forecast to remain dry across the next 14 days, more central and southern parts should pick up some better than normal rains. That continued dryness in the north looks set to extend into much of the UK, the low countries and the northern half of Germany.

Russia said that its spring grain plantings were 98.7% complete on 30.6 million ha versus the 31.1 million ha that had been planted this time last year. Wheat planting has now taken place on 13.3 million ha, which is over 100% of the Ministry target, they say. They've also sown 8.2 million ha of barley and 2.7 million ha of corn.

APK Inform said that Russia could produce a record 11.8 MMT of corn this year, up 4% versus 2014. MDA CropCast yesterday went even higher at 12.7 MMT.

They also forecast the Ukraine grain crop at 56.9 MMT this year, down 11% on a year ago.

The vibe coming through is that production prospects in Ukraine, and quite possibly Russia too, aren't anything like as bad as they looked/were feared earlier in the year.

The HGCA noted that the number of Russian offers at yesterday's Egyptian tender quite possibly indicates that exporters there may be even keener than normal to get some volume away onto the international market as soon as possible after harvest. That minimises the chances of the new export duty kicking in, if and when the rouble falls much further.

Yesterday's price paid by Egypt of $190.50 FOB is the equivalent of around RUB10,500, the duty is only a token RUB50 provided that prices don't rise above RUB11,000. Based on today's exchange rate that's about $200/tonne, so things aren't that far away, in fact some of yesterday's Russian offers were actually at prices that were higher than that threshold.

Egypt was back in the market again today, this time booking two cargoes of Romanian wheat and one of Russian origin. The price paid for the latter was just under $192/tonne (around RUB10,600/tonne). The Romanian wheat was slightly more expensive at $192.16/tonne, although the freight was a little bit cheaper.