PARIS: Paris wheat futures ticked higher on Thursday, steadying after a day-earlier slide in light trading as a US holiday closure removed usual impetus. March milling wheat, the most active contract on the Paris-based Euronext exchange, unofficially closed up 0.50 euros, or 0.2%, at 210.00 euros ($250.13) a tonne.
On Wednesday, it had risen to 212.75 euros, equalling a life-of-contract high set two weeks ago, before slipping back as Chicago wheat saw a sell-off ahead of the Thanksgiving closure. A tender by Egypt on Thursday underscored brisk international demand, with the country's state buyer booking 175,000 tonnes of Russian wheat. Physical premiums in Europe held firm as strong export demand continued to absorb a dwindling harvest surplus, with sales to China continuing to tighten French grain supply.
"Continued interest form China, and the fact German wheat is now competitive into North Africa, keeps the balance sheet uneasily tight," British merchant ADM Agriculture Ltd said.
"While EU exports are running lower year on year, domestic and international demand will need to reduce over the remainder of this marketing season."
The European Commission kept unchanged at 24 million tonnes its monthly forecast of common wheat exports from the European Union's 27 countries in 2020/21, but cut its EU maize import outlook by 1 million tonnes.
In Germany, standard bread wheat with 12% protein for December delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at about 4.5 euros over Paris March. Buyers were offering about 3 euros over.
"Along with strong exports, demand for feed wheat has also been seen recently as wheat is still looking attractively priced against other feed grains," one German trader said.