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PARIS: Euronext wheat regained some ground on Thursday as investors turned more cautious about peace talks between Ukraine and Russia while analysts continued to forecast that the countries’ war would cause massive disruption to Black Sea grain exports.

May wheat on Euronext was up 4.25 euros, or 1.2%, at 367.75 euros ($408.90) a tonne by 1654 GMT, after tumbling 6% on Wednesday.

Wheat prices have been extremely volatile during the conflict in Ukraine, as the market is heavily reliant on exports from Russia and Ukraine.

Chicago wheat also recovered after falling by its daily price limit on Wednesday.

“Today, the feeling seems to be different,” one futures trader said. “We go from hopes of a near end of the conflict to maybe a continuation of the conflict while talks continue.”

The absence of a ceasefire reinforced risks of prolonged disruption to international grain flows, with buyers forced to seek alternative supply sources such as the European Union and India. Strategie Grains on Thursday said the war could remove from the world market in 2021/22 about 11 million tonnes of Black Sea wheat exports.

The consultancy raised its forecast of EU soft wheat exports in 2021/22 by 2 million tonnes to reflect the replacement of Black Sea supplies.

Germany was among EU countries seeing brisk export demand, so much so that supplies from eastern EU countries were also being brought to German ports, according to traders.

“Export demand for German wheat remained strong this week and expectations are growing that our stocks will be sold down rapidly even if there is some sort of ceasefire agreement allowing Ukrainian and Russian wheat shipments to normalise in coming weeks,” one German trader said.

A first harvest estimate by Germany’s association of farm cooperatives, projecting the 2022 wheat crop up 5.8% on the year at 22.61 million tonnes, was welcomed by traders as a hope that stocks depleted by exports will be replenished.

However, there were also signs that some Russian wheat shipments were continuing and traders expected Russian wheat would supply some of the 270,000 tonnes of wheat bought by Turkey in an import tender on Thursday.

In rapeseed, May futures added as much as 5.4% to 948.50 euros a tonne, a new record for Euronext.

Traders cited renewed tensions in old-crop supply in Europe, with deferred positions for 2022 crop trading lower. ($1 = 0.8994 euros).

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