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PARIS: Euronext wheat futures eased in light volumes on Thursday as the run-up to a four-day holiday closure led some participants to book profits after a rally fuelled by import demand and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Chicago wheat also fell ahead of the Easter holiday.

Euronext will be closed on Friday and Monday. US markets will be shut on Friday and resume trading on Monday.

New-crop December wheat on Euronext settled 1.1% lower at 361.25 euros ($390.76), after reaching a life-of-contract high at 369.25 euros on Wednesday.

Old-crop May futures settled down 0.5% at 401 euros a tonne, after earlier rising to a new one-month high at 411 euros.

The front-month showed a 7.6% gain for the week, supported by Wednesday’s sale of French wheat to Egypt as state buyer GASC made a first tender purchase since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Egyptian tender bolstered French export prospects after a recent lull amid competition from Black Sea origins.

Underscoring continued competition from Russian exports, despite Western sanctions over the Ukraine war, consultancy Strategie Grains lowered its monthly forecast of EU soft wheat exports this season.

However, Egypt’s tender and signs of a lasting conflict in Ukraine suggested ongoing demand for EU wheat.

In Germany, a rare offer of German wheat in the Egyptian tender and the absence of Romanian wheat offers also pointed to potential demand for western European supplies, traders said.

Sellers of standard 12% protein wheat for April onwards delivery in Hamburg were offering around 15 euros a tonne over the Euronext May contract with little purchase interest seen.

That was down from 30 euros earlier this week with cuts made to compensate for the rally in Euronext in past days.

Germany’s 2022 wheat crop of all types will increase 6.2% on the year to 22.70 million tonnes, the country’s association of farm cooperatives said on Wednesday.

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