CHICAGO: US and European wheat futures extended a rally on Thursday, with Paris prices setting a new 14-year high and K.C. hard red winter wheat touching its highest since May 2015 on concerns about demand outstripping supplies of high-protein stocks.
But prices eased off their session peaks as traders locked in profits.
Profit-taking also weighed on soybeans and corn, which turned lower after rallying overnight.
The market had already priced in the flurry of export activity seen earlier in the week, said Terry Reilly, senior analyst with Futures International in Chicago.
“If you look at the wheat business that was done overnight, that was already pretty much known,” Reilly said. “There are no big fresh import tenders like we saw earlier this week.”
The benchmark Chicago Board of Trade December soft red winter wheat contract was up 8-3/4 cents at $8.31 a bushel at 10:41 a.m. CST (1641 GMT). K.C. December hard red winter wheat was 4-3/4 cents higher at $8.38-3/4 after peaking at $8.48-3/4.
In Europe, March wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 2.75 euros at 297.50 euros a tonne. The contract touched the highest price on a second-month position since September 2007.
Even though prices came off their highs, the combination of tight supplies and previously booked deals kept wheat in positive territory.
On the supply side, heavy rain is threatening late damage to Australia’s harvest, flooding has disrupted export routes in Canada while dry conditions are raising early doubts about production in the United States and the Black Sea region.
“There is big demand for wheat right now, when wheat production is under the microscope,” a European trader said. “It may be a really tight balance sheet going forward.”