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HAMBURG: European wheat prices held firm on Monday following a strong rise in Chicago and reports of a Ukrainian counter-offensive against Russia.

Benchmark December milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange, unofficially closed up 9.0 euros or 2.8% at 328.25 euros ($328.15) a tonne after earlier touching a 2-week high of 330.75 euros.

Chicago wheat reversed earlier weakness on Monday to rise 4.7%.

Ukraine announced the start of a long-awaited counter-offensive to retake territory in the south seized by Russian forces since their invasion six months ago.

For the grain markets, the attack adds to uncertainty about possible disruption of supplies as both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters. The grains complex has also been supported by forecasts of a lower US corn crop after hot, dry weather.

EU grain export and import data released on Monday showed Pakistan as the fourth largest export destination for EU wheat so far in the 2022/23 season with 347,549 tonnes, in confirmation that the country has turned to European wheat to fill a gap left by missing Black Sea grain.

Pakistan has also been hit by devastating floods.

Cheap sales offers in the Black Sea region, especially from Russia and Ukraine, were depressing international demand for German wheat.

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