EU Grains Mostly Higher Aided By Weak Euro

21/11/16 -- EU grains closed mostly higher, save for London wheat which finished lower after sterling climbed to a new recent high against the euro.

At the finish Nov 16 London wheat was down GBP1.60/tonne at GBP138.30/tonne, Dec 16 Paris wheat was up EUR0.75tonne at EUR168.25/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn ended EUR0.50/tonne firmer at EUR165.75/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed closed EUR2.25/tonne higher at EUR399.75/tonne.

London wheat seems unable, for the time being at least, to break and hold above GBP140/tonne on front month Nov 16. A weak euro, rather than a string sterling, today didn't help. The pound closed above 1.17 against the single currency for the first time in more than 2 months.

Market analysts fear an anti-EU backlash vote coming up in the French and German general elections in the New Year, undermining the entire future of the eurozone, following Brexit and the surprise Trump election. That's putting the euro under pressure, supporting the market on the continent.

Rapeseed meanwhile continues to test the EUR400/tonne level, helped today by firmer crude oil prices. It hasn't closed above this level since April 2014.

The Ukraine Ag Ministry raised their forecast for this year's grain crop from 63 MMT to 64 MMT. Harvesting of that is now said to be 97% complete at 59.96 MMT. That includes a corn harvest that's 79% complete at 20.84 MMT.

With the corn harvest winding down, that's the crop on which they are now starting to concentrate their main export effort. Total grain exports via seaports last week were 616.7 TMT (up from 463.3 TMT the previous week). That included 158 TMT of wheat, 408.2 TMT of corn and 50.5 TMT of barley.

The Ministry said that Ukraine winter wheat planting is now 95% complete on 5.9 million ha, along with 85% of the winter barley area (877k ha).

Winter rapeseed planting in Ukraine increased for the first time since 2013 this year, with the Ministry saying that 85% of the crop was sown in the optimum time window. Emergence is placed at 90%.

Russia's seaports exported 444.6 TMT of grains last week, down from 578.8 TMT The previous week, as their efforts struggle a little. Last week's total included 326.1 TMT of wheat, and 115.2 TMT of corn.

The Russian Ministry said that season to date grain exports (to Nov 16) total 14.77 MMT, a 4.6% decrease versus the same period in 2015/16. Wheat accounts for 79% (11.69 MMT of that total, with barley a further 1.55 MMT and corn 1.45 MMT.