FRENCH wheat prices remained firm ahead of this weeks EU export tender. The Commissions decision to reduce forward correctives applicable to wheat exports in October and January were rated as positive.
However, the volumes granted for the export to third countries disappointed and prices fell immediately after the tender results were announced.
Grain prices on German markets were also reported firm last week. Traders indicated good marketing opportunities on external markets and regional higher prices for feed grain.
With only some fields remaining to be harvested in England, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and half of the spring crop in Scotland, the EU barley harvest is nearing completion.
Malting barley results are reported good in Denmark and Sweden as well as in Austria, France and Germany. However, low proteins have occurred in various member states.
Spanish imported feed wheat prices are feeling the pressure from the expected large UK feed wheat crop. Domestic maize prices were also reported lower, as the harvest in the south of Spain continues, increasing the material available on the market.
The French maize producers group AGPM forecast a 14.7m tonnes maize crop. This is slightly above the Ministrys estimate of 14.43m tonnes, but still below last years15.2m tonnes output.
The 1999 Belgium and Luxembourg grain crop is expected to be lower than in 1998 due to a reduced planted area and wet weather at the start of the year.
Belgium and Luxembourg harvested 2.42m tonnes last year. COCERAL estimated a lower combined output of 2.27m tonnes this year.
The first Finnish grain production estimate put this years crop at 2.9m tonnes. Wheat output is estimated at 276,000 tonnes, barley at 1.5m tonnes and oats at 1.1m tonnes.