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HAMBURG: European wheat prices rose on Monday as US and European grain belts were hit by freezing temperatures while Russia’s new wheat export tax also continued to underpin prices.

Benchmark March milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext, was up 1.75 euros or 0.6% at 226.25 euros ($272.52) a tonne at 1601 GMT.

A widespread cold snap in Europe and the United States with freezing temperatures is expected to last until the end of the week. It remained unclear how much frost damage winter grains would suffer.

“It is very cold this week. This means spring barley sowings will need to be postponed,” one trader said.

The French farm ministry will release estimates of France’s winter crop area on Tuesday but this may not include the impact of this week’s cold snap.

Traders were also awaiting Tuesday’s US Department of Agriculture world crop report, with forecasts of tightening global inventories of grains and soybeans expected and were awaiting more news on Russian export taxes.

In Poland, prices were stable in the last week with markets underpinned by continued export shipments.

Exporter purchase offers were little changed at around 995 zloty (222 euros) a tonne for 12.5% protein wheat for March delivery to port silos.

“Some regions in north Poland close to ports are starting to report tighter wheat stocks, which is no wonder considering Poland’s heavy export shipments this season,” one Polish trader said.

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