EU Grains Lower On The Day, But Higher For The Week

23/09/16 -- EU grains finished mostly lower on the day but higher for the week. Sterling weakness has once again come to the aid of London wheat this week.

The day ended with Nov 16 London up GBP0.15/tonne at GBP126.70/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was down EUR0.75/tonne at EUR161.25/tonne, Nov 16 corn was up EUR0.75/tonne at EUR162.75/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed fell EUR4.00/tonne to EUR375.75/tonne.

For the week nearby London wheat was GBP3.10/tonne firmer, Paris wheat was up EUR2.25/tonne, corn gained EUR2.25/tonne and rapeseed was up EUR3.25/tonne.

Egypt's GASC were confirmed to have bought 240,000 MT of Russian wheat in their tender yesterday, paying around $179/tonne FOB, or circa $187/tonne C&F.

Whether the purchase marks a permanent change of policy on the issue of ergot remains to be seen, hence trader reluctance to participate in this latest tender.

FranceAgriMer pegged French corn crop conditions unchanged from a week ago at 54% good to very good. Harvesting of that crop is said to be 1% complete nationally versus 3% this time a year ago.

This stabilising of crop conditions may mean that he worst is over for the French crop, pegged today by Coceral at just 12.16 MMT, down 1 MMT from a year ago, and that was hardly a vintage crop.

Coceral placed the French total grain harvest at 54.5 MMT, down 24% on 71.7 MMT a year ago. Overall the EU-28 cereal crop was placed at 293 MMT versus 311 MMT in 2015.

The EU-28 soft wheat crop was estimated at 134 MMT, some 14 MMT less than their June forecast and 18 MMT below last year's record. Production in the UK was placed at 14.7 MMT, down nearly 11% on 16.5 MMT a year ago.

Barley production in Europe is now seen at 59 MMT versus 61 MMT last year. That's 4 MMT below their June estimate.

Total EU-28 corn output was forecast 1 MMT down from June, but 3 MMT above last year, at 61 MMT.

Whilst there might be less grain around in Europe this year, that isn't the case everywhere however. Wheat production in 2016/17 is forecast higher in Argentina, Australia, Canada, the US, Russia and Kazakhstan - all big exporting nations. Indeed, the current USDA forecast for the world wheat crop is 10 MMT higher than it was a year ago, and for corn it's up by 68 MMT.

Russia's 2016 grain harvest has now reached the 108 MMT mark with 13.5% of the planted area still left to cut, according to the Ag Ministry there. Wheat production currently stands at 73.2 MMT off 92.5% of the cultivated area. Barley harvesting is 94% complete at 18.5 MMT, and corn is 18.8% cut at 2.9 MMT. Plantings for the 2017 harvest at now past 60% complete on 10.5 million ha.

Kazakhstan said that their harvest is 80% complete at 18.4 MMT, with final production estimated at 22 MMT in bunker weight or 21 MMT in clean weight.