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HAMBURG: European wheat futures rose on Monday, supported by rising Chicago prices as futures consolidated above 2-1/2 month lows, with attention turning to US Department of Agriculture (USDA) crop estimates later this week. March milling wheat, the most active contract on the Paris-based Euronext, unofficially closed up 0.75 euros, or 0.2%, at 275.25 euros ($311.83) a tonne.

On Friday the contract fell to 270.25 euros, its lowest since Oct. 21, before closing slightly higher as it held a chart support zone. Wheat futures have been pressured recently by large harvests in Argentina and Australia, which could alleviate tight supply in other export zones.

“The market has probably already integrated most of these bearish factors ahead of the USDA reports,” consultancy Agritel said in a note. Grain markets are shifting their focus to a series of USDA reports due on Wednesday, including world crop projections.

The recent fall on Euronext has increased the competitiveness of French wheat, raising hopes of further sales to destinations like Morocco. In rapeseed, February futures on Euronext pulled back from Friday’s record high of 843.50 euros attributed to short-covering as the contract’s expiry approaches and tight supplies in Europe.

February rapeseed ended down 2.3% at 808.25 euros a tonne. German wheat traders were awaiting signs of more import demand. “Overall, EU wheat is looking pretty competitive in world markets as Russia’s export taxes continue to hinder Russian exports, but there is an absence of demand with no new international tenders for wheat issued as the week starts,” one German trader said.

“There are expectations of more demand in January from importers like Egypt, Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, along with Iran.” Traders said two ships each with about 65,000 tonnes of German wheat sailed for Iran last week, following large purchases made by the country in late 2021.

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