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HAMBURG: European wheat futures in Paris rose to a new two-year high on Tuesday, supported by concerns over risks to South American grain supplies and firm wheat prices in the Black Sea region.

Front-month March milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext unofficially closed up 3.00 euros, or 1.4%, at 217.25 euros ($267.24) a tonne.

It earlier hit 218.25 euros, a new life of contract peak and the highest spot price since August 2018.

Chicago wheat set a fresh six-year high.

“There is fear about export restrictions in Argentina and there are high prices in Russia,” a futures dealer said.

“There’s no real reason for Euronext to fall when our prices are in line with those of other exporters.”

Dry crop weather in South America and a suspension of corn exports by Argentina have unsettled investors at a time of brisk Chinese demand that has eroded worldwide grain supply.

Uncertainty over possible Argentine wheat export restrictions also rekindled concern about global availability of exportable wheat following Russian measures to curb its shipments and given a limited surplus in the European Union.

In Germany, the busy programme of ships loading wheat for export is expected to continue in January and February.

“The ship loading programme is looking good in German ports but it is to be expected that importers will try to get as much Russian wheat booked before the Russian export tax starts in February,” one German trader said. “Algeria appeared to be the largest destination for German wheat exports in December so it is a disappointment Algeria only bought a modest 300,000 tonnes in its last purchase tender in late December.”