EU Grains Mostly Higher Tuesday

13/12/16 -- EU grains closed mostly a touch firmer, save for London wheat which was a tad lower. The pound got a boost from news that UK inflation hit a two-year high of 1.2% in November, up from 0.9% in October. That adds a little bit of weight to the argument for the BoE to increase interest rates sooner rather than later. Hence sterling was firmer for much of the day.

The day ended with Jan 17 London wheat down GBP0.10/tonne at GBP135.05/tonne, new front month Mar 17 Paris wheat was EUR1.00/tonne higher at EUR165.75/tonne, Jan 17 Paris corn was up EUR0.25/tonne to EUR165.25/tonne and Feb 17 Paris rapeseed rose EUR1.25/tonne to EUR414.25/tonne.

UK export data for October shows that our wheat exports fell to 145,437 MT, down from 252,429 MT in September, with Algeria our largest single buyer taking 59,266 MT. Season to date exports are up 60% year-on-year at almost 859 TMT.

UK October barley exports of 72 TMT were at their lowest level in four years, say the HGCA. Cumulative season to date exports are 430 TMT versus 507 TMT a year ago.

"The slower pace of barley exports contrasts to the continued fastest pace of UK wheat exports for six years," they said.

"UK average ex-farm feed barley spot prices traded over £20/MT lower than feed wheat in late October, yet wheat still continued to be more successful in finding both export and domestic feed demand. The spread between prices has continued to hover around £20/MT since, but if wheat continues to more successfully find demand relative to barley, there could be pressure for the spread to grow," they added.

Coceral forecast the EU-28 soft wheat crop at 134.7 MMT, up slightly on their previous estimate but still 11.5% down on 152.1 MMT a year ago.

The French wheat crop was seen 31% lower than last year at 28.9 MMT, with output in the UK estimated 12% down at 14.5 MMT.

The EU barley crop was forecast 3.4% lower at 59.2 MMT, with corn output up 3.4% at 60.7 MMT.

The French Ag Ministry estimated winter wheat plantings for the 2017 harvest around unchanged at 5.19 million ha, but some 3.5% up on the recent 5-year average.

Rusagrotrans lowered their forecast for the country's December grain exports from 3.8 MMT to 3.45 MMT due to adverse weather conditions.