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PARIS: Euronext wheat rose on Thursday, tracking gains in Chicago as talk of renewed Chinese demand for US soybeans put the focus on export activity. Brisk European wheat exports also supported Paris futures, while traders waited to see if a first grain cargo to sail from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports under a safe-passage agreement would be followed by a regular flow.

December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled up 1.6% at 323.00 euros ($327.91) a tonne.

Chicago wheat rebounded from a six-month low struck on Wednesday, helped by a weaker dollar and a sharp rise in soybeans that traders said was fuelled by chatter about Chinese importers seeking US supplies.

“Soybeans led the move and the other grains followed,” a futures dealer said.

The talk of Chinese demand helped the market overlook moderate weekly US grain export sales as reported on Thursday, traders said.

Following this week’s departure of a grain vessel from Odesa, local authorities in Ukraine said a Turkish bulk carrier is expected on Friday in the port of Chornomorsk, the first vessel to arrive at a Ukrainian port since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls “a special military operation”.

“This ship sailing to collect grain is the next really important development,” one German trader said. “If more ship owners are prepared to send their ships to Ukraine high-volume export traffic could develop, but it is still early days.” Traders remained cautious about the maritime corridor from Ukraine and expected European Union exports to stay active.

“If the return of Ukraine to export markets is slow, the EU is likely to keep receiving strong export demand, at least in August and possibly September,” another trader said.

Germany’s wheat harvest was making rapid progress in dry weather. Good volume results were reported with overall decent quality, but with lower protein content in some northern regions.

“Protein levels are sometimes 1% down on last year’s levels which could be bad for export supplies,” the second trader said.

“German wheat would be okay for markets like Algeria, but buyers demanding higher protein like Saudi Arabia and Iran could turn more to French wheat.”

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