PARIS: Euronext wheat ticked higher on Friday in line with Chicago futures as traders monitored the risk of frost damage to US crops. Front-month March milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled up 1.25 euros, or 0.6%, at 223.75 euros ($271.27) a tonne.
The contract ended slightly lower over the week after recovering from a one-week low of 221.25 euros on Wednesday. Chicago wheat was about 1% higher in US trading, with the market assessing the frost threat to winter wheat crops lacking snow cover.
Grain prices were broadly consolidating after falling sharply in the wake of Tuesday’s monthly crop forecasts from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), which disappointed traders with a smaller-than-expected reduction in US corn supply given big recent export sales to China.
“While in the short term world wheat prices are expected to stabilize, in the longer term market moves will depend on weather and winter crop conditions in the Northern Hemisphere’s wheat producers and spring wheat planting decisions,” S&P Global Platts said in a market note.
Wintry conditions were causing less concern about wheat crops in Europe, with widespread snow seen protecting plants from this week’s double-digit negative Celsius lows, traders said.
Steady export demand was continuing to underpin prices in Europe.
“The strong export shipments from Germany seen in recent months are going on in February and available wheat supplies are getting tighter,” one German trader said.
“Hamburg premiums are holding firmly above Euronext and if buyers want wheat they have no option but to accept the high prices.”
Wheat shipments this week and next include two vessels each loading about 30,000 tonnes of German wheat for Algeria, one about 30,000 tonnes for Morocco and another 55,000 tonnes for Sudan.
Another vessel loaded 6,000 tonnes, believed to be an unusual shipment for Suriname in South America. Standard bread wheat with 12% protein for February delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at around 6 euros over Paris March, with buyers seeking around 4 euros over.