Ukraine Exports Record Volumes, Spring Sowings Well Advanced

27/04/16 -- EU grains mixed, with front month May 16 London wheat unchanged at GBP104.65/tonne, May 16 Paris wheat was EUR0.25/tonne lower at EUR151.25/tonne, June corn rose EUR2.00/tonne to EUR162.25/tonne and May 16 rapeseed closed EUR3.00/tonne lower at EUR369.00/tonne.

May 16 rapeseed goes off the board on Friday, so could display some choppy trade ahead of that. Despite expiry being only a few days away, open interest in May 16 is still the largest of all the Paris rapeseed contracts.

Early spring grin plantings in Ukraine are just about done at 99% complete, according to the AG Ministry there. Spring barley sowing is complete on 98% of the government forecast at 1.78 million ha.

Oilseeds and corn are excluded from early spring grain figures. In Ukraine corn plantings are estimated 49% complete so far 92.24 million ha), with sunseed 55% planted (2.859 million ha) and soybeans 25% (502 million ha) sown.

In March Ukraine exported 2.427 MMT of corn, which is 32% greater than the volume of exports in March 2015 (1.836 MMT), according to UkrAgroConsult.

Ukraine exported a record 2.7 MMT of grains in April, And said that they'd exported 33.3 MMT of grains so far this season, including 15 MMT of corn, 15 MMT of wheat and 4.1 MMT of barley. The barley campaign is just about over for 2015/16.

Concerns still linger over Ukraine's production prospects for this year though. "Dry conditions during the sowing period and frost kill in January, drastically impacted winter crops in both Ukraine (and Poland). Despite favourable conditions since the beginning of March it looks like winter crops have had very little regrowth," the HGCA reported MARS as saying yesterday.

That doesn't seem to be the case in Russia though, where ProZerno estimate 2016 grain production 0.6% higher than last year at 105.46 MMT. Wheat could account for almost 61 MMT of that, they say.

Morocco announced that it will maintain its import taxes on wheat of up to 30% until the end of the year. The move comes despite a poor harvest leading to an anticipate jump in import needs in 2016/17.