Tuesday, 24 August, 1999
Stratégie Grains released its estimate of 1999 EU total cereals production at 195.3 million tonnes this week. This is some 5% lower compared to last seasons harvest of 206.3m tonnes. The decline is mainly attributed to a fall in planted area.
European grain prices started off on a high after Iran bought 120,000 tonnes of French wheat on 11 August. To date, almost 1m tonnes of French wheat has been purchased by Iran this season following the worst drought in the country for 30 years. Around 50% of its rice fields are said to have suffered some damage.
A shortage of transport capacity, reported back in July, is still delaying grain delivery into intervention. This together with slow farmer selling is said to be providing some price support. French wheat gained some FF15/t (£1.50/t) compared to last week, although the rise was limited by news that the USA is expecting a larger soyabean and maize crop.
Germanys wheat crop remains some 20 to 40% close to completion after wet and cold weather interrupted the flow of harvest activity. Despite lower protein content and higher humidity resulting in lower Hagberg falling numbers, yields have shown an improvement on last year.
ZMP, the German marketing reporting agency, reported more buying activity for premium quality wheat. The UK is one of those said to be interested as UK buyers await an uncertain wheat harvest in terms of both quantity and quality. Spain, the Netherlands, and Finland have also shown interest.
Portuguese and Spanish maize production is set to be lower this year. The recent drought halted irrigation in Portugal after lower water levels in the Tagus, Portugals main river. Concerns have also been expressed over Spain redirecting water from Portugal to irrigate its main Southern agricultural regions.
Taken from HGCA weekly MI Bulletin
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