April 12, 2018 / 4:39 PM / 3 months ago

EU wheat lower on ample global supplies, French strikes eyed

    PARIS, April 12 (Reuters) - European wheat prices edged
lower on Thursday, pressured by ample global supplies, but the
fall was limited by lasting concerns of logistical problems
caused by rail strikes in France.
    May milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was 0.3
percent lower by 1539 GMT at 166.00 euros a tonne after hitting
a one-week low of 165.25 euros earlier in the day. 
    By the same time, the most-active wheat futures contract
 on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was down 1.7 percent.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture raised its forecast of
world 2017-18 wheat ending stocks to a record 271.2 million
tonnes.
    Rain forecasts in the central U.S. plains and sharply rising
temperatures for the Midwest added further pressure to CBOT
wheat futures.
    "There is bearish pressure from Chicago but rail strikes in
France remain a concern," a trader said.
    Unions protesting against the government's rail reform plans
have proposed on-off stoppages until June, a period that covers
the end of the grain marketing season.
    In Germany, cash market milling wheat premiums in Hamburg
were flat as feed wheat rather than exports remained the main
focus.
    Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein content for
April delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 3.0
euros over Paris May. 
    Feed wheat prices in Germany's South Oldenburg market were
again over milling wheat, with April onwards delivery offered
for sale down 1 euro at 178 euros a tonne and buyers seeking 177
euros.
    "There have been recent sales of German feed wheat to
buyers in Britain and Spain, which is supportive along with
steady wheat demand from German feed makers," one German trader
said. 
    There is also market attention on spring sowings, especially
important after poor autumn weather hindered autumn plantings in
Germany.
    "Spring wheat sowings have been considerably delayed by rain
in much of the country," another trader said. "Good progress was
made in better weather this week but I think this weekend will
be the end of the period in which spring wheat can be planted."
    "If spring wheat sowings are not finished by this weekend, I
think farmers will have to plant maize instead."
    
 Prices at 1539 GMT                                             
                              Last  Change    Pct     End    Ytd
                                             Move    2017    Pct
                                                            Move
 Paris wheat May            166.00   -0.50  -0.30  162.50   2.15
 Paris maize Jun            166.00   -1.25  -0.75  163.50   1.53
 Paris rape May             348.25    1.00   0.29  347.75   0.14
 CBOT wheat May             479.00   -8.25  -1.69  427.00  12.18
 CBOT corn May              388.50    1.50   0.39  350.75  10.76
 CBOT soy May              1059.75   12.00   1.15  951.75  11.35
 WTI crude oil               66.46   -0.36  -0.54   60.42  10.00
 Euro/dlr                     1.23    0.00  -0.39               
 Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel,
 Paris futures in euros per tonne
 
 (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and Michael Hogan
in Hamburg; Editing by Dale Hudson)
  
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