April 8, 2019 / 5:14 PM / 18 days ago

EU wheat prices supported by export run as focus turns to USDA

PARIS, April 8 (Reuters) - Euronext wheat futures edged higher on Monday as a recent run of west European exports continued to support the market in otherwise subdued trading before closely watched U.S. government crop forecasts.

Benchmark May milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext, settled 0.25 euro, or 0.1 percent, higher at 189.50 euros ($213.49) a tonne.

The contract earlier rose to 190 euros but like last week failed to break through chart resistance at that level.

Chicago wheat offered limited impetus to Euronext in hesitant U.S. trading before Tuesday’s monthly supply-and-demand report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Weekly European Union data offered further evidence of an upturn in EU wheat exports.

The bloc has now exported 15 million tonnes of soft wheat since the start of the 2018/19 season in July. Exports are down 4 percent against a year ago, having trailed last season’s volume by around 25 percent two months ago.

“EU wheat exports are accelerating, driven by shipments from France in particular,” a futures dealer said.

“At the same time, the U.S. export inspections data today showed just over 30,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat was loaded for Algeria.”

Algeria is France’s main export outlet and French prices are sensitive to competition there from rival origins such as Argentine and U.S. wheat.

New-crop prices on Euronext were also firm, with September adding 1 euro, or 0.6 percent, to 178.00 euros, as traders assessed decent overall crop conditions against the risk of dryness in parts of Europe.

In Germany, cash premiums in Hamburg were slightly firmer as a healthy export loading programme supported prices.

Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein for April delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale at around 6.50 euros over Paris May against 6 euros over on Friday.

“Sellers were unwilling to follow the weaker trend in Paris in the past couple of days with demand for fill-in supplies expected to continue for the ships loading wheat in German ports,” one German trader said.

“But I think the bulk of the supplies for the vessels has already been purchased.”

Firm old crop prices in Russia and other Black Sea exporters after their large shipments in recent months was bringing hopes of more German export sales.

Warm weather following a mild winter was raising the prospect of a rebound in Germany’s harvest from last year’s drought-hit crop.

New crop 12 percent protein for September-May delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale at around 1.50 euros under Paris. ($1 = 0.8876 euros) (Reporting by Valerie Parent in Paris and Michael Hogan in Hamburg, writing by Gus Trompiz; editing by David Evans)

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