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PARIS: Euronext wheat futures ended in negative territory on Tuesday as a setback in Chicago reversed gains made in early trade on concerns of potential drought damage to US crops.

Old-crop May Paris-based milling wheat futures settled down 0.4% at 399.50 euros ($431.26) a tonne, after earlier climbing to 411.00 euros.

New-crop December wheat settled down 0.6% at 361.25 euros, consolidating after earlier reaching a fresh contract high at 369.25 euros.

The US Department of Agriculture on Monday rated 30% of US winter wheat in good to excellent condition, down two percentage points from a week ago, below an average of analyst expectations and the lowest for this time of year since 1996, underscoring a drought in the Plains wheat belt.

The wheat crop was in better shape in France, the EU’s largest producer, where an estimated 92% of French soft wheat crops were in good or excellent condition in the week to April 11, unchanged from the previous week and above a year-earlier score of 86%, farm office FranceAgriMer said on Friday.

Traders were still assessing the impact of India’s addition on Egypt’s state buyer GASC’s list of origins after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted shipments out of its main wheat suppliers and led to a sharp rise in prices.

In its import tender last week, 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 was GASC’s first purchase since the start on Feb. 24 of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The sudden return of the GASC, in the midst of a rising market, for a large volume of 350,000 tonnes and at a record price worries all operators. This purchase is the symbol of global fears for the coming months,” consultancy Agritel said.

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