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PARIS: Front-month wheat futures on Euronext extended a rally on Wednesday to a new one-month high, as a large purchase by Egypt provided an unexpected boost to France’s end-of-season export prospects. May futures, the last position for trading the 2021 crop, settled up 0.9% at 403 euros ($438.54) a tonne, after earlier climbing to 409.50 euros, its highest since March 7.

The front-month contract had already surged 5% on Tuesday as Egypt’s announcement of a tender limited to European origins and concern about a protracted war in Ukraine supported prices.

New-crop December settled up 0.2% at 365.25 euros, consolidating after earlier reaching a fresh contract high at 369.25 euros.

In its import tender that closed on Wednesday, Egyptian state buyer GASC booked 240,000 tonnes of French wheat, along with 50,000 tonnes of Bulgarian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Russian wheat.

The purchase, which sought shipment for late May and early June, marked GASC’s first purchase since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted Black Sea grain flows and sent international prices soaring.

The large volume of French wheat bought by Egypt surprised traders after French supplies were expected to miss out on an estimated 120,000 tonne purchase by Algeria on Tuesday, with cheaper Bulgarian and Romanian supplies tipped by traders to fill the Algerian order.

Farm office FranceAgriMer had earlier on Wednesday cut its monthly forecast of French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season, citing uncompetitive prices.

Export sentiment in Germany was also boosted by Egypt’s tender, despite the importer passing on a rare offer of German wheat.

“The export market is taking on a new shape as the war in Ukraine continues and sanctions hit Russian exports,” one German trader said, noting recent sales of German wheat to private importers in Egypt.

One ship sailed from Germany in recent days with about 60,000 tonnes for a private buyer in Egypt, traders said. This followed another ship which sailed from Germany in March with about 50,000 tonnes for Egypt.

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