EU Grains Mostly Lower As Bearish Run Continues

29/07/15 -- EU grains closed generally lower, as the bearish run in the sector continues.

At the close of play, Nov 15 London wheat was down GBP1.40/tonne to GBP120.60/tonne, Sep 15 Paris wheat fell a EUR2.50/tonne to EUR179.75/tonne, Aug 15 Paris corn was down EUR2.75/tonne to EUR173.75/tonne, whilst Aug 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR1.50/tonne lower at EUR368.00/tonne.

The harvest in the UK, France, Germany and Italy has stalled on rain, although there's a drier forecast ahead for the next few days through to Saturday. After that though rains return for much of Western Europe, in the forecast lasting through to Aug 13, with Spain particularly wet - set to receive 4-8 times its normal rainfall for the time of year.

That may help struggling corn crops in the region. In Germany Deutsches Maiskomitee say that the variation in this year's corn crop is "enormous" with plants ranging from waist high to exceeding 2m in height.

That makes predicting the size of this year's crop particularly difficult, they say.

Morocco estimated it's 2015 grain crop at a record 11.5 MMT due to increased plantings and higher than normal rainfall. Wheat (excluding durum) production will come in at a record high 5.6 MMT, which beats the previous 2013 record by 0.5 MMT.

The country said that it will also harvest 2.4 MMT of durum and 3.5 MMT of barley this year, meaning that its grain import requirements will fall in 2015/16.

Russia's 2015 grain harvest now stands at 34.5 MMT so far off 9.8 million ha, which equates to 21.1% complete. Yields are said to have averaged 3.51 MT/ha versus 3.44 MT/ha a year ago.

Of the total Russian harvest so far, wheat is said to be 28.1% complete producing a crop of 27.7 MMT to date.

That's not quite the full story though, there's a sharp difference between yields this year and last when looking at the advanced harvest in the most productive south of the country and the drier areas further north.

Russia's Southern District is 61% harvested on 4.8 million ha, with production at 18.9 MMT and yields averaging 3.93 MT/ha versus 3.69 MT/ha a year ago. The North Caucasus region is 74.3% harvested on 2.2 million ha producing a crop of 8.3 MMT so far, with yields at 3.78 MT/ha compared to 3.66 MT/ha a year ago.

Further north though, the harvest in the Central region is only 7.8% complete so far and yields here are only averaging 1.67 MT/ha against 2.12 MT/ha a year ago. In the Far Eastern region, where the harvest is only just getting going, early yields are 1.34 MT/ha versus 2.31 MT/ha in 2014.

That suggests that final national average yields could be dragged down below last year's levels as the harvest becomes more advanced in these less productive areas.

In Ukraine, the early grain harvest is 73% complete producing 18.3 MMT of wheat, 6.6 MMT of barley and 1.5 MMT of rapeseed to date. Yields of wheat and barley are said to be a bit higher than last year.

Tunisia are tendering in the market for 134 TMT of optional origin milling wheat, with French material probably the favourite to win the business.