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PARIS: Euronext new-crop wheat futures fell on Thursday, pulling back further from contract highs this week as an improved weather outlook for US crops fuelled selling.

New-crop December wheat settled down 1.3% at 351.75 euros ($381.33) a tonne.

The contract earlier dropped to its lowest in over a week, 351.00 euros as it filled a chart gap.

December futures had struck a contract high of 370 euros on Tuesday following a rally supported by poor conditions for US wheat, a large purchase of French wheat by Egypt and signs of a protracted conflict in Ukraine.

Weather forecasts pointing to rain in some parched US wheat zones and warmer temperatures for corn planting pressured Chicago grain futures on Thursday.

Old-crop May on Euronext rose, however, with traders noting that Tuesday’s expiry of options against May futures was a signal for some participants to cover positions ahead of next month’s contract close.

May futures settled up 1.8% at 405.75 euros a tonne.

Traders said the market remained underpinned by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the absence of a ceasefire increasing the risk of prolonged disruption to Black Sea grain flows.

The wheat market was also watching to see if top importer Egypt would turn to Indian wheat after approving the origin last week.

Indian wheat could provide additional competition for European Union supplies in Egypt, alongside continuing shipments of Russian wheat.

However, traders have been cautious about Indian prospects given Egypt’s quality requirements and uncertainty over the size of India’s incoming harvest following a recent hot spell.

In rapeseed, May futures rose as much as 2% to a new record for Euronext at 1,065.00 euros a tonne, as the run-up to the contract’s expiry next week added to volatility linked to tight oilseed supply.

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