EU Grains Report - Friday

04/03/16 -- EU grains closed mixed, with London wheat just about managing a rare second day in succession higher close - even if only narrowly. Session highs were set much earlier in the day though.

At the close of trading, Mar 16 London wheat was up GBP0.15/tonne at GBP100.15/tonne. In Paris, Mar 16 wheat closed a choppy session EUR3.50/tonne lower at EUR140.75/tonne, Mar 16 corn was down EUR1.25/tonne at EUR145.75/tonne and May 16 rapeseed rose EUR3.25/tonne to EUR350.00/tonne.

For the week, London wheat was still GBP1.35/tonne lower, whilst Paris wheat lost EUR4.50/tonne, corn was down half a euro and rapeseed was unchanged.

The gap between May 16 and Nov 16 London wheat ends the week at a cavernous GBP12.85/tonne, up from GBP12.40/tonne a week ago.

Brussels confirmed the release of 689 TMT of soft wheat and 340 TMT worth of barley export licences. That takes the respective cumulative totals for the season to 18.4 MMT (down 14% year-on-year) and 7.3 MMT (up 13%). Corn imports of 236 TMT, for a seasonal total of 9.7 MMT, were also approved.

FranceAgriMer said that weekly soft wheat crop conditions there were 94% good to very good, unchanged on a week ago and 3 points ahead of 2015. Winter barley conditions fell one point from last week to 91% good to very good (90% on 2015).

The mild weather had crop development ahead of 12 months ago, with 21% of the French winter wheat crop already having an ear of at least 1cm versus 10% a week ago and only 1% this time last year. Winter barley is 18% versus 9% last week and 0% last year.

French spring barley is 14% sown (34% last year) and 6% emerged (the same as a year ago).

A Bloomberg report said that drought "has probably wiped" more than half of Morocco's 2016 intended winter wheat harvest. An analyst survey conducted by them placed the Moroccan 2016 wheat harvest at an average of only 3.72 MMT, down 54% on last year. That could double their import requirements, for which France are traditionally a major supplier, in 2016/16.

Russia's IKAR forecast the nation's 2015/16 grain exports at a record 34 MMT, just slightly behind the 34.5 MMT estimated by Rusagrotrans earlier on the week. Of that wheat will consist 71.5%, or a record 28.3 MMT, they predict.

ProZerno said that Russia will harvest 100-100.5 MMT of grains this year, a bit below the 104.3 MMT that they produced in 2015. Around 9% of winter crops have perished, somewhat better than the 12% that they were predicting a few months ago, and about average. Corn production in 2016 will amount to a record 13 MMT, they said.

Ukraine said that early spring grains, mostly barley, were about 4% planted for the 2016 harvest.