New crop grain prices have firmed on the back of bad weather in the US and slow crop development across Europe.
London wheat futures ended the week to Tuesday (30 April) up by £2.65/t, to £186.15/t for January 2014, with Paris rapeseed futures rising by €3/t, to €427/t (£362) for November 2013 delivery.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, farmers in the US had drilled just 5% of their maize so far – the lowest level since 1984 and half the amount expected by this time of year. “If weather conditions get better, productivity shouldn’t be too much affected by these delays,” said a report by analyst Agritel. “However, there are no signs of better weather conditions for the rest of the week.”
Traders were also concerned about the wheat crop, with just 33% classified as good to excellent, the lowest level since 1996.
Closer to home, maize plantings in Ukraine were very slow, with just 5% drilled against 49% last year and an average of 31% over the past five years, said the report.
“But in Russia, the harvest could reach 50-58.5m tonnes (33-55% up on last year). The country could therefore export 10-16m tonnes and still rebuild stocks.”