EU Grains Rise, London Wheat Up For Fifth Week In A Row

14/10/16 -- EU grains closed mostly higher on the day and for the week. London wheat extended it's winning weekly run to five and with Nov 16 at the best levels for a front month since Christmas/New Year 2014/15.

The day ended with Nov 16 London wheat up GBP2.20/tonne at GBP134.30/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR2.50/tonne at EUR163.25/tonne, Nov 16 corn was up EUR1.25/tonne at EUR159.50/tonne and Nov 16 rapeseed was up EUR2.25/tonne to EUR388.50/tonne - the highest front month close since July 2015.

Sterling weakness continues to come to the rescue of London wheat, but strength in US futures has also started to come into play recently. Chicago wheat is up 17% since the last day of August.

EU wheat exports are running ahead of last year, up 17% at a cumulative 7.3 MMT so far this season, despite a poor showing from from France. They picked up only 41 TMT worth of this week's 526 TMT of soft wheat export licences awarded by Brussels.

Romanian wheat picked up the lion's share (120 TMT) in this week's Egyptian tender, with Russia winning a further 60 TMT worth.

Rapeseed prices also continue to gain on reduced EU availability (production down 10% this year at 20 MT according to the USDA), steady palm oil prices and wet weather harvest disruptions in Canada.

Regular EU supplier Ukraine also has a much smaller rapeseed crop this year due to sharply reduced plantings last autumn.

Looking ahead, FranceAgriMer estimated French winter wheat plantings at only 23% complete versus 34% done a year ago. Winter barley is 39% sown against 54% a year ago.

The French 2016 corn harvest is estimated at 23% done, ten points down on this time in 2015. Crop conditions were unchanged at 53% good to very good versus 56% a year ago.

As well as Egyptian buying this week, Algeria have been in the market, reportedly booking 450-500 TMT of optional origin wheat in a tender for 50 TMT. Saudi Arabia are also said to have purchased 595,000 MT of wheat of HRW quality that could be sourced from Germany, according to Agritel.

Whilst EU soft wheat exports are 17% up on year ago levels, note that the USDA currently predicts them to fall 28% year-on-year. If they don't, then ending stocks would tighten further from the already forecast 25% to 10.5 MMT.

Meanwhile the Russian harvest rumbles on towards the expected post-Soviet era record, with 93% of the combinable area collected so far producing a crop of 115.4 MMT in bunker weight. Wheat harvesting is said to be 97.8% complete at 75.6 MMT and growers there have also brought in 96.9% of barley for a crop of 19.0 MMT so far. Corn harvesting is said to be 39% complete at 6.1 MMT.

Rusagrotrans said that the volume of Russian wheat making 3rd and 4th grade milling standard this year will be 56.4 MMT versus 49.5 MMT a year ago.