EU Grains Nudge Higher On FSU Dryness Concerns

21/09/15 -- EU grains closed higher to start the week, with Nov 15 London wheat ending up GBP0.55/tonne to GBP111.00/tonne, Dec 15 Paris wheat was EUR3.00/tonne firmer at EUR170.25/tonne, Nov 15 Paris corn was up EUR0.25/tonne to EUR162.00/tonne, whilst Nov 15 Paris rapeseed was EUR4.75/tonne higher at EUR364.25/tonne.

Dryness in southern Russia, the country's leading winter wheat producing area, and Ukraine remain a concern with regards to plantings for the 2016 harvest.

In Russia "rain is needed for a successful sowing campaign of winter wheat" and in Ukraine "regions such as the Vinnitsa and Kiev oblasts have been accumulating an important deficit since May, with less than 50% of the average rainfall from May to mid-September," said the EU Commission's MARS unit.

In Ukraine, the optimum window for planting winter OSR is already passed and almost 40% of the anticipated crop area is still to be sown. Some are now saying that the country's winter rapeseed area could be the smallest in almost a decade.

In Russia winter grain plantings have been complete on 9.5 million ha, or around 55% of the Ag Ministry target.

Sticking with Russia for a minute, the Ag Ministry there say that the 2015 grain harvest is now 77.2% complete on 36.2 million ha, producing a crop of 88.7 MMT to date.

Wheat accounts for 58.3 MMT of that total off 82.6% of the planned area, and barley adds another 16.8 MMT off 82.3% of plan. Wheat yields are averaging 2.62 MT/ha versus 2.87 MT/ha a year ago. Barley yields stand at 2.29 MT/ha versus 2.42 MT/ha a year ago.

In Ukraine the 2015 harvest is 74% done on 10.8 million ha for a crop of 39.3 MMT to date. The wheat and barley harvests there are well over. Corn is 9% complete on 387k ha for a crop of 1.7 MMT to date with yields averaging only 4.4 MT/ha - the USDA sees final yields at well above this level at 6.59 MT/ha.

Ukraine's exports continue at a brisk pace. The country's seaports shipped out over 900 TMT of grains last week, up sharply from 629 TMT the previous week. Wheat accounted for 576 TMT of that total, and barley almost 300 TMT.

Russia's seaports also increased their grain shipments in the past week, although at 535 TMT they still lag those of their neighbour. That was though up from 393 TMT the previous week, and included 465 TMT of wheat.

Back in Europe, MARS nudged their estimate for 2015 EU corn yields up from 6.40 MT/ha to 6.43 MT/ha, although that's still more than 20% down on a year ago. The revision reflected largely an upgrade to 8.90 tonnes per hectare, from 8.63 tonnes per hectare, in the estimate for the corn yield in France, the EU's top producer of the grain, where rains late last month "led to a significant improvement in the conditions of summer crops" in some areas, said Agrimoney.