Bullish US statistics push grain markets higher

Grain markets have rebounded following a bullish report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which reignited fears about old and new crop supplies.

London wheat futures ended the week to Tuesday up by £8.60/t, to £215/t for January, with November futures up by £3.20, to £186.75/t.

The report cut US maize ending stocks by 1.1m tonnes, to 15.3m tonnes. “This represents just three weeks’ supply, so the timing of the 2013 harvest will be critical,” said a spokesman for the HGCA.

Wheat ending stocks were cut by a similar amount due to strong exports and increased animal feed use – and winter plantings were below expectations at just under 17m ha. “Large areas of the central and southern US wheat belt have been declared natural disaster areas,” said the spokesman. “A prolonged drought has stressed the winter wheat crop, putting into question the likelihood of this year bringing a record harvest.”

Although the USDA increased its estimate of soya bean stocks, and confirmed expectations of record South American production, EU rapeseed markets remained firm, said a report by analyst Agritel. “There are concerns about the real availability in South America, especially with some logistical issues that could appear at harvest time.”

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