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PARIS: Euronext wheat fell on Wednesday on chart-based selling following a steep rally, while market participants assessed potential fallout from frequent rain during the European harvest.

Benchmark December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled 2.25 euros, or 1.0%, lower at 227.75 euros ($269.61) a tonne.

It briefly rose to a new life-of-contract high at 233.75 euros but like on Tuesday faced selling pressure above the psychological 230 euro threshold, according to dealers.

Chicago wheat also eased after a near three-month peak fuelled by global supply concerns.

In Europe, the French farm ministry trimmed its estimate of the country’s soft wheat crop and warned of quality risks due to rain, while in Germany farmers’ group DBV sharply cut its winter wheat crop forecast after the recent rain.

In France, varied quality readings in the rain-slowed harvest were causing logistical headaches for early-season shipments to major markets such as Algeria.

“There hasn’t been a lot of wheat cut this week,” one French trader said. “It’s really arriving in dribs and drabs.”

A warm, sunny spell forecast for next week could help harvesting accelerate in northern French plains.

Traders say mixed quality readings, particularly for test weights, were widening the gap in French cash premiums between milling and feed wheat. There was also concern in Poland about rain.

“Stronger international prices are supporting along with worry that Poland’s wheat harvest is not in full swing yet with repeated interruptions from rain,” one Polish trader said.

“We are also concerned about signs of low test weights of 73-75 kg per hectolitre instead of 77-80 kg hoped for,” the trader said.

“This is starting to make exporters nervous.”

Other quality criteria in the Polish wheat crop, however, appeared to be satisfactory, traders said.

Polish export prices rose 70 zloty in the last week and reached the psychologically-important level of 1,000 zloty (220.1 euros) a tonne for 12.5% protein wheat for August delivery to ports.

Algeria, the main export market for EU wheat, is thought to have bought around 300,000 tonnes of wheat in a tender earlier this week, according to trader estimates on Wednesday. ($1 = 0.8447 euros).

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