EU Grains End Week Mostly HIgher

W/E 20/05/16 -- EU grains traded mostly firmer to end the week, with May 16 London wheat up GBP1.00/tonne at GBP107.00/tonne, Sep 16 Paris wheat was EUR2.00/tonne higher at EUR163.50/tonne, June corn was up EUR1.00/tonne to EUR166.25/tonne and Aug 16 rapeseed closed EUR2.00/tonne weaker at EUR369.75/tonne.

Brussels confirmed 928 TMT worth of EU soft wheat export licences this past week, taking the total for the season so far to 27.5 MMT. Which is now not too far short of the 29.0 MMT (record) volume granted at this time last year.

Barley export licences were 173.000 MT for the week, and now total 9.1 MMT for 2015/16 to date, a rise of 8.3% on a year ago.

Corn imports matched barley exports for the week at 173,000 MT. Season to date imports are 12.2 MMT against 8.2 MMT a year previously.

The potential size of the 2016 EU soft wheat crop is creeping higher. French Analysts Strategie Grains now have that at 146.7 MMT, up from previous estimates of 144.8 MMT. "Winter cereals exhibited excellent yield potential" in many of the key EU winter wheat cropping areas, they said.

The rise will be tempered by lower than expected carry-in stocks, with 2015/16 exports now seen at 30.4 MMT, some 0.9 MMT higher than previously.

They have the EU-28 2016 corn crop at 62.7 MMT, which is a 9% rebound from last year's drought-damaged harvest. Barley production will rise 1% to 62.5 MMT, they predict.

FranceAgriMer estimated the French winter wheat crop at 31% headed as of Monday, up from 9% as week previously, but still 18 points below this time last year when crops were particularly forward. Winter barley is 95% headed against 56% and 99% respectively.

French corn planting was cited at 91% complete versus 78% a week ago and 96% this time last year.

In crop conditions French wheat was cut 1 point good to very god to 86% (91% this time last year). Winter barley ratings dropped a point in a week to 84% good/very good (90% a year ago). Spring barley was 93% good to very good versus 95% in 2015.