EU Grains End Mixed On The Day And For The Week

30/10/15 -- EU grains closed mixed on the day and for the week.

At the finish, Nov 15 London wheat was unchanged at GBP114.95/tonne, although other months were generally GBP0.25-0.50/tonne lower. In Paris, Dec 15 wheat was also flat at EUR180.75/tonne, Nov 15 corn was down EUR1.50/tonne at EUR165.00/tonne and new front month Feb 16 rapeseed was up EUR0.75/tonne to EUR378.50/tonne.

For the week Nov 15 London wheat managed a net gain of GBP1.45/tonne, Dec 15 Paris wheat was up EUR1.75/tonne, Nov 15 Paris corn was unchanged an Feb 15 Paris rapeseed was down EUR3.25/tonne.

Euro weakness has been a feature this week, with the pound closing back up above the 1.40 level against the single currency for the first time since Aug 19. Italian analysts Intesa Sanpaulo joined the throng predicting further euro weakness in the coming months, estimating the GBP/EUR exchange rate to hit 1.47 inside a 3-month period.

The theory that this should lead to increased demand for EU wheat remains, although we've seen precious little evidence of that so far this season.

Brussels only issued 371 TMT worth of soft wheat export licences this past week. Although that was up 33% on the previous week's sorry total, season to date licences so far are down 30% on a year ago at 6.84 MMT. That's a deterioration from 23.5% below last season's levels a month ago.

They also only approved 68 TMT worth of barley export licences this week, down 76% on the previous week's total. Let's hope that this is a flash in the pan. Season to date barley licences are still 38% ahead of this time a year ago at 4.19 MMT.

Also a little worryingly, they approved more corn import licences this week than exports for wheat and barley combined - 574 TMT. Cumulative corn import licences now total 2.9 MMT for the season, which is now ahead of last year's pace.

Egypt said that following yesterday's wheat purchases, they now have enough wheat bought to last them until mid-April. Despite an EU clean sweep in that tender, 75% of what GASC has bought so far this season has been Russian/Ukraine origin, with only 25% coming from the EU - and most of that being Romanian material. French wheat only account for 8% of what they have bought so far in 2015/16.

FranceAgriMer said that the French corn harvest was 75% complete as of Monday, up from 58% a week ago and versus 52% this time last year.

French winter wheat plantings were 78% done versus 58% the previous week and 70% a year ago. Winter barley sowings are 92% done compared to 78% a week ago and 87% this time last year.

Emergence of both those crops is almost identical to a year ago at 43% and 65% respectively. In their first barley crop ratings of the year they put the French crop at 96% good to very good, one point ahead of this time last year.

Ukraine said that their 2015 corn harvest was 74% complete at 15.96 MMT, which suggests a final crop of around 21.6 MMT, not the 25 MMT that the USDA currently predict.

Russia said that this year's corn harvest there is 73.6% complete at 10.2 MMT. That suggests final production of 13.85 MMT versus the USDA's expected 13.5 MMT estimate.

Reduced winter plantings in both countries this year might suggest further increases in corn sowing in 2016. Russia's winter grain plantings are said to be 91.8% complete and Ukraine's only 84% done.