EU wheat exports appear to slow, key data missing: Grain market daily

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Market commentary

  • Nov-21 and Nov-22 feed wheat futures slipped back a further £0.50/t yesterday to close at £206.50/t and £191.50/t respectively.
  • Paris rapeseed futures (Nov-21) continue to climb, closing yesterday at €689.25/t, up €15.50/t from Monday. This follows strength in oil markets as discussed yesterday by Helen.
  • According to Chinese officials, wheat planting was 27% behind the usual pace with just 26% of the expected crop planted by 19 October due to constant rain. Rain is also causing delays to the Chinese maize harvest.

EU wheat exports appear to slow, key data missing

The EU has exported 8.67Mt of soft wheat by 17 October 2021, according to the EU Commissions weekly trade data report. Exports have been led by Romania, Bulgaria, and Germany. Although EU soft wheat exports are still 36% ahead of 2020/21, they are back in line with 2019/20. This comes as weekly exports drop to just 80Kt in the week ending 19 October after continually shrinking week-on-week since the week ending 5 September.  

  EU soft wheat exports graph 20 10 2021

However, the EU commission have stated that some French data is missing from the report and has been since the end of July 2021. The report shows French soft wheat exports total 719Kt which differs significantly from Refinitiv’s loading estimates of 2.26Mt. According to French ports loading data from Refinitiv, China and Algeria are the biggest non-EU buyers of French wheat so far this season.

EU soft wheat exports have generally been strong this season. A weakening euro has aided price competitiveness into export markets, as have tight supplies amongst other major exporters. Russian wheat prices have also helped elevate the export market. Russian FOB prices, for 12.5% protein wheat, have been reaching highs in recent weeks aiding EU competitiveness.

The EU will need to remain competitive on the global market to maintain export levels. In the second half of the marketing year pressure could come from southern hemisphere crops.

Yesterday, the nearby Paris milling wheat futures contract closed at €273.75/t. This is a €41.74/t premium over the nearby Chicago wheat futures contract, €25.46/t greater than the same time last year.

  Paris wheat to Chicago wheat discount/premium 20 10 2021

This discount may need to squeeze to maintain export pace. And in turn this could add pressure to UK markets due to the close relationship UK futures have with Paris futures. However, it is key to note that this discount may not need to squeeze as much as usual, due to the tight outlook for wheat on a global scale.

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