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Markets

Paris wheat steady as US rain, Europe heatwave eyed

PARIS: Euronext wheat edged higher on Friday in line with Chicago futures as traders assessed risks for crops from lates

21 Jun 2019

PARIS: Euronext wheat edged higher on Friday in line with Chicago futures as traders assessed risks for crops from latest rain in waterlogged US grain belts and a forecast heatwave in western Europe.

Front-month September milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 0.50 euros, or 0.3pc, at 180.50 euros ($204.34) a tonne by 1542 GMT.

Volumes were light, with many French market participants attending a grain industry gathering at the Atlantic port of La Rochelle.

Over the week, the Euronext spot contract was almost unchanged.

In the United States, the return of widespread rain in the US Midwest was keeping the focus on weather damage to planting ahead of next Friday's updated acreage estimates from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

"The market needed to consolidate a little," one futures dealer said. "The USDA acreage report is going to be such a big focus."

The arrival of a hot spell in western Europe from the weekend, with temperatures expected to peak in the mid to high 30s Celsius in the middle of next week, was also generating caution about European crops.

"For the moment you have expectations of high yields, but you could lose a bit of yield with intense heat during the grain-filling of crops," the dealer said.

Farming agency FranceAgriMer estimated that 80pc of French soft wheat crops were in good or excellent condition by June 17, an unchanged rating from a week earlier and above a year-ago score of 75pc.

In Germany, the European Union's second-largest grain producer after France, sunny and dry weather forecast this weekend was seen further boosting crops after recent rain.

"Germany's wheat has received a lot of rain in the past couple of weeks with more rain falling on Thursday night," one German trader said.

"This is putting wheat in a good condition to survive a short heatwave so the market is taking a relaxed view of the forecasts," the trader said.

"But we will just have to see how long the temperatures continue. The high temperatures will be good for ripening winter barley, with the German harvest in the starting blocks."

Standard bread wheat with 12pc protein for September onwards delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 4 euros under Paris December.

Buyers were seeking at least 5 euros under.

German prices were being curbed by the improved harvest outlook and negative export sentiment in the face of lower prices in rival exporting countries.

A rise in the euro against the dollar this week has also dented EU export prospects for the new season that starts in July.

Copyright Reuters, 2019