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PARIS: European wheat edged higher on Friday after two sessions of declines, supported by ongoing concerns about the impact of dry weather in North America and Russia while traders were assessing the size of the harvest in Europe.

Benchmark December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext closed 0.8percent higher at 214.00 euros a tonne. Although it touched a two-month high at 220 euros earlier in the week, it fell 0.8percent over the whole week.

FranceAgriMer data released on Friday showed that wet weather had hampered field work last week but a hot and dry spell since the start of the week allowed the harvest to speed up.

"There is some rain expected again this weekend in the northern part of the country, hopefully not too much, for harvesters but also for quality," a trader said.

FranceAgriMer's crop report said that 75percent of soft wheat was rated good or excellent by July 19, against 76percent a week earlier.

In Russia, the agriculture ministry said yields from the harvest of the country's wheat crop averaged 3.45 tonnes per hectare as of July 20, down from 3.47 tonnes a year earlier. In Germany more dry and sunny weather also allowed wheat and barley harvesting to gather speed.

Wheat harvesting is still in its early stages and about half of the country's barley crop has been gathered. "We still do not have an accurate picture of the impact on wheat of the rain and storms in Germany last week," one German trader said. "But I think the concern is more likely to be about any quality loss in the harvest rather than volume loss."

"Weather was dry and sunny immediately after the storms, which has allowed harvesting to keep up a good speed this week."

Purchase interest in new crop German wheat in international markets was said to be thin partly because of high ocean shipping costs giving Black Sea region countries a price advantage in export markets.

Shipments of old crop wheat were approaching their end, with a ship having just sailed with 65,000 tonnes of German wheat for Iraq. Standard 12 percent protein wheat for September delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale little changed at around 2 euros under Paris December.

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