January 28, 2016 / 5:34 PM / 3 years ago

EU wheat dips ahead of Russian export tax meeting

PARIS, Jan 28 (Reuters) - European wheat prices fell on
Thursday in cautious trade ahead of a meeting on the fate of
Russia's export tax on the grain, shrugging off good weekly
export data seen as necessary to clear last year's hefty crop,
traders said.
    By 1654 GMT front-month March on the Euronext
milling wheat futures was down 0.75 percent to 164.50 euros per
tonne. It fell as low as 164.00 euros in earlier trade, not far
from a contract low of 163.25 euros a tonne.
    "We are still lacking support elements on the old crop
(contracts) and there is no weather concern to support the new
one," a Euronext trader said.
    Operators' attention was focusing on a meeting scheduled in
Moscow on Friday to discuss on a possible change in Russia's
wheat export tax, which traders hoped would bring more clarity
to the market. 
    Wheat rose to a 2-week high in Europe and a one-month high
in Chicago this week on talk of tighter export curbs by Russia,
but Moscow later tempered the speculation, saying it would
discuss removing or cutting the tariff at a meeting with Deputy
Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who oversees agriculture. 
    German cash premiums in Hamburg were little changed with
more information awaited about Russia's grain export policy. 
    Standard wheat with 12 percent protein content for February
delivery was offered for sale unchanged at 3 euros under the
Paris March contract. Buyers were offering 3.5 euros under
Paris.
    "First reports were that Russia wants to restrict wheat
exports and then it was said that Russia wants to help increase
exports," one German trader said. "The market remains confused
about what this huge wheat exporter will do."
    "Overall, the market remains subdued with winter damage to
crops not currently feared and some estimates that 50 percent of
the 2015 harvest is still being held by farmers in north
Germany. 
    German wheat exports are gathering a bit more speed but the
pace remains modest compared to last year and there are growing
doubts whether the large old crop stocks in Germany can be
cleared before the new crop."
    Current wheat shipments in German ports include 20,000
tonnes for Libya, 50,000 tonnes for Oman, 33,000 tonnes for
Guinea and 25,000 tonnes for Mauritania, traders said.
    Iran's agriculture minister said during a visit to Paris on
Thursday the country aimed to be self-sufficient in wheat in the
future by improving yields but will continue to be reliant on
imports for maize and barley. 
    
 Prices at 1704 GMT                                             
                             Last  Change    Pct     End     Ytd
                                            Move    2015     Pct
                                                            Move
  Paris wheat Mar          164.75   -1.00  -0.60  173.50   -5.04
  Paris maize Jan          154.50   -0.50  -0.32  164.00   -5.79
  Paris rape Nov           360.75   -1.75  -0.48  374.00   -3.54
  CBOT wheat Mar           472.50   -4.00  -0.84  470.00    0.53
  CBOT corn Mar            366.50   -2.75  -0.74  358.75    2.16
  CBOT soy Jan             873.00  -10.00  -1.13  871.25    0.20
  WTI crude oil             33.15    0.85   2.63   37.04  -10.50
  Euro/dlr                   1.10    0.01   0.58                
 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel,
 Paris futures in euros per tonne
 
    

 (Reporting by Valerie Parent and Michael Hogan in Hamburg;
writing by Sybille de La Hamaide; editing by Katharine Houreld)
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