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EU Grain Export Data Delay Raises Transparency Concerns Amid Wheat Price Rally

EU grain trade data delays since March 27 raise market transparency concerns amid a price rally and tight global supplies.

By Athena Xu

5/15, 05:29 EDT
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Key Takeaway

  • EU grain and oilseed trade data updates have been halted since March 27 due to technical issues, leaving market participants in the dark.
  • The absence of recent export data raises concerns amid a wheat price rally and tight global supplies, complicating market dynamics.
  • The EU Commission is working to resolve the data delay, crucial for transparency in a competitive wheat export market with Russia.

EU Grain Export Data Delay

The European Union has been facing challenges in providing its usual weekly updates on grains and oilseeds trade data due to technical issues. This situation has persisted since late March, leaving market participants without the latest figures on the trade of these commodities from EU member states. The most recent data available to the public and market analysts dates back to March 27. The European Union Commission, responsible for releasing this data, cited "persisting technical issues" as the reason for the delay in updates.

Market Impact and Transparency Concerns

The absence of timely data has raised concerns among traders and analysts regarding the transparency of the grain market. Alexandre Marie, head of market research at Agritel, a unit of Argus Media, emphasized the importance of this data in providing clarity on the flow of goods. He noted that while there has been a dip in export volumes as the new marketing year approaches, the information remains crucial for market participants. This is especially true as wheat prices have reached their highest level in over nine months, and the EU competes with Russia in wheat exports. The clarity on the pace of demand is essential for understanding whether the recent price rally will sustain.

Wheat Exports and Price Rally

The European Union, a significant player in the global wheat market, exported 31.1 million tons of wheat in the last season, which runs from July until June. The current lack of data comes at a time when global grain supplies are tight, contributing to rising prices. The competition between the EU and Russia for wheat exports adds another layer of complexity to the market dynamics, making the missing data even more critical for traders and analysts trying to gauge the market's direction.

Technical Issues and Resolution Efforts

A spokesperson for the EU Commission has acknowledged the delays in data publication, attributing them to technical difficulties with loading new data. Efforts are underway to resolve these issues, with the Commission indicating that the problem should be fixed in the coming days. However, no further details have been provided regarding the nature of the technical issues or the specific timeline for when the data will be made available again.

Street Views

  • Alexandre Marie, Agritel (Neutral on EU grains export data):

    "The data provides market participants with transparency on the flow of goods rather than having to obtain trade line-ups... Despite a dip in export volumes ahead of the new marketing year, the data is still valuable."