EU Grains Mostly Lower On The Day, But Universally Lower For The Week And Month

31/07/15 -- EU grains trade mostly lower on the day, save for corn, and universally lower for the week and month.

At the close Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP0.65/tonne at GBP119.85/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne weaker at EUR180.50/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.25/tonne to EUR174.25/tonne, whilst Nov 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR3.50/tonne lower at EUR377.25/tonne.

For the week that puts London wheat down GBP3.45/tonne, with the Paris market EUR5.25/tonne lower. Paris corn fell EUR4.25/tonne versus last Friday and new front month Nov 15 rapeseed ended the week EUR7.00/tonne lower than it began it.

Losses for the month were GBP12.15/tonne in London wheat, EUR20.75/tonne for Paris wheat, EUR12.50/tonne for corn and EUR24.25/tonne for rapeseed.

Harvest pressure, and in many cases better than expected yields and quality, along with the general commodity malaise that we've seen lately are the main reasons for the decline.

At home, the HGCA say that the 2015 UK harvest is off to a slow start, with an estimated 30% of the national winter barley crop cut so far (compared to 85% a year ago at this time). Things are being led by the Eastern region which is said to be 70% done, followed by the South East/South West at approaching 50% complete each.

Yields this year are varying anywhere from 5.7 MT/ha to up to 10.5 MT/ha for some of the hybrid 6-row varieties, they say. Overall they forecast them averaging 7.0-7.2 MT/ha versus the 10-year average of 6.5 MT/ha.

The winter OSR harvest is said to be around 15% complete (it was already 75% done this time last year) with yields between 2.3 MT/ha and 5.1 MT/ha, with the best ones on heavier land that was better able to withstand June heat/dryness, they say. Again the harvest in he Eastern region is furthest advanced at 40% complete.

They are currently predicting an average national yield of 3.5-3.7 MT/ha, up from the 10-year average of 3.4 MT/ha.

In France, harvest activity is advanced, and appears to be confirming that the heat/dryness experienced in May and June has only had minimal negative impact on wheat/barley yields, say Agritel. It could of course yet prove to be different for corn.

FranceAgriMer say that the French winter wheat harvest was 70% complete as of Monday, up from 60% done a week ago and 5 points ahead of this time last year. The French winter barley crop is already 100% in the barn, along with 75% of the spring crop, the latter being up from 47% a week ago and 59% this time last year.

Germany's DBV said that despite earlier extreme heat and dryness causing premature ripening of winter crops, they are estimating the winter barley crop there at 9.1 MMT. That's only 0.34 MMT less than last year and up 0.5 MMT on their June forecast.

A 6% drop in final average German winter barley yields to 7.2 MT/ha is partially compensated for by increased plantings, they said.

There's been some winter wheat harvest activity in the south of the country, with yields estimated to be down 10-15% on last year's bumper ones. An increase of around 3% in plantings will also offset some of the reduction, they add.

Bloomberg report that the French export hub of Rouen increased grain shipments by 64% in the past week to 201,905 MT, with Algeria the largest home taking 124,915 MT of soft wheat - the most to that destination since May 2014. They also shipped out another 77,000 MT of feed barley to China.

Brussels announced that they'd released 324 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences taking the season total so far to 1.6 MMT, up 23% on 1.3 MMT this time last year. They've also now issued 1.4 MMT worth of barley export licences.

Ukraine's wheat harvest is said to be 79% complete on 5.4 million ha producing a crop of 19.8 MMT so far. Agritel say that they expect "no more" than 50% of this year's crop to make milling standard. That potentially leaves a lot of cheap feed wheat on the Black Sea looking for a home this year. They've been actively marketing that into Asia of late.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry currently estimate the nation's grain harvest at 60 MMT, with 2015/16 exports expected to beat last season's record 34.6 MMT at 37 MMT.

Russia said that it's 2015 wheat harvest was 32% complete on 8.3 million ha producing a crop of 29.4 MMT so far. As the harvest has progressed away from southern areas yields have started to drop. The national average is now 3.56 MT/ha versus 3.63 MT/ha this time last year.