Paris wheat falls on good crop prospects, German harvest going well

Parvez Jabri July 24, 2019

HAMBURG: European wheat futures fell on Tuesday, pressured by prospects of hefty supplies as the continuing wheat harvest in Western Europe reveals larger than expected volumes in some regions.

Harvest prospects are looking good both in top producer France and second largest producer Germany.

Benchmark December milling wheat

on the Paris-based Euronext exchange, was down 0.2 percent, or 0.50 euro, at 179.00 euros ($199.6) a tonne at 1606 GMT.

“Eyes are on the harvest,” a French broker said. “Talk in the market is that in France it could be even bigger than the 38 million tonnes we were last talking about just one week ago.”

Last year’s French crop was around 34 million tonnes.

“Yields are turning out to be just exceptional in many places,” another said.

“There will be a lot of wheat coming in this year.”

The EU as a whole is set for a larger wheat harvest this year as a heatwave in late June which wilted some crops had a less severe impact than initially feared.

Traders were also awaiting the results of Egypt’s international wheat purchase tender in which the lowest offer was for Ukrainian wheat. Russian and Romanian wheat were also offered but no French.

In Germany, dry and sunny weather meant farmers were making very rapid progress with harvesting, traders said.

“Hot and sunny weather in most of Germany since last week means harvest conditions are just about perfect,” one German trader said. “Parts of the south and east Germany are 40% to 50% finished and if the weather holds I would expect the area around Berlin to be finished at the weekend.”

“If the weather holds I think the German harvest could be competed in about 10 days from now, which is about two weeks earlier than usual.”

Germany’s harvest is often disrupted by rain but the heatwave and sunshine forecast up to Sunday should allow the present high volume work to continue.

“We are still awaiting a clearer picture of new crop quality,” another trader said. “But so far no alarm bells are being sounded and quality looks decent, about the same as last year.”

“Quality criteria such as protein content look decent. But results are differing widely around the country.”

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

Buyers were seeking at least 5.0 euros under.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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