January 29, 2013


US wheat exports to EU may rise

The EU may increase US wheat imports in the coming months due to low US prices.

Traders said US soft red winter wheat for February shipment from the US Gulf is currently priced around US$315 per tonne, way under French wheat at around US$342 per tonne, and Rouen and German wheat at US$361 per tonne for Hamburg.


A poor EU corn harvest in summer 2012 coupled with the decline of grain exports from Ukraine and Russia following their poor crops means animal feed wheat costs more than bread wheat in parts of the EU.


The EU regulates wheat imports but licences to import a hefty 471,000 tonnes of US wheat are still available in the annual reduced-tariff grain quota, traders said.


The EU awarded just over 100,000 tonnes of US wheat imports in the first two rounds of the annual reduced-tariff grain quota in early January. However, no US wheat was sought in the third round last week.


French analysts, Strategie Grains, forecasts EU wheat imports of 4.2 million tonnes in the current 2012/13 season against 5.4 million in 2011/12. This includes a forecast rise in US imports to one million tonnes from 936,000 tonnes and a fall in Ukrainian imports to 1.1 million tonnes from 1.8 million tonnes.


One European trading house now forecasts British wheat imports from the EU and elsewhere this season at over 2.5 million tonnes, Saudi Arabia is forecast by analysts BMI to import 2.3 million tonnes this season.

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