HAMBURG: European wheat futures soared on Monday, bouncing back from a fall on Friday, as hopes of a quick truce in the war in Ukraine faded with more global demand for EU wheat expected.
Front-month May milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange unofficially closed up 14.75 euros, or 4.08%, at 376.25 euros ($414.89) a tonne.
Chicago wheat also rose about 7% as fighting was expected to continue, hindering grain exports from Ukraine and Russia.
“Markets are moving with the (Ukraine) news,” a trader said. “After some hopes last week there seems to be no de-escalation in tensions in sight.”
Russian wheat exports are coming back into world markets but volumes are still down on levels before the fighting started.
Sales from Ukraine are at a standstill and the longer the conflict lasts, the more time it will take to come back to normal flows, the trader added.
European wheat is also supported by more international purchase tenders which will weigh on the level of stocks at the end of the season.
Traders and analysts also noted the high volatility in the past weeks.
“The current tension is such that the slightest market movement is exaggerated both up and down,” French consultancy Agritel wrote in a note. In Germany, traders were also expecting more export demand for German wheat as fighting in Ukraine goes on.
“Last week there were hopes of ceasefire talks but this week there is really no real indication that the fighting in Ukraine could stop in the immediate future,” one German trader said. “There are no expectations that Ukraine’s ports could reopen this week, so the European Union looks like continuing to shoulder the burden of meeting export demand from the Middle East and North Africa.”