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PARIS: Euronext wheat was mixed on Thursday as traders reacted to a fresh pullback in Chicago futures and assessed the latest developments in Russia’s war with Ukraine, which has disrupted Black Sea supply and shifted some demand to the European Union.

Benchmark May wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange settled down four euros, or 1.1%, at 368.25 euros ($404.67) a tonne.

Deferred positions ended slightly higher.

The May contract earlier rose nearly 5% following talk of likely sales of French wheat in a large import purchase by Algeria and as lack of progress in diplomatic talks between Russia and Ukraine revived concerns of a prolonged conflict.

However, Euronext pared gains and Chicago wheat fell steeply after Russia said it would continue to export grain, apart from a temporary halt to shipments to other countries in the Eurasian Economic Union.

While Russian grain shipments have slowed due to Western financial sanctions over Moscow’s two-week-old invasion of Ukraine, some traders had feared a Russian export ban that could further disrupt international supply.

“Putin is not shutting the door to all nations,” one futures dealer said.

“We may have a situation where the market is overbought and all the shorts have been covered.”

European prices, however, remained underpinned by export demand.

French wheat is expected to supply most of a purchase estimated at between 600,000 and 700,000 tonnes by Algeria, traders said.

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