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PARIS: Euronext wheat futures ended sharply higher on Thursday after the U.S government made a steep cut to its forecast of world wheat supply, led by a reduction to expected production in top exporter Russia.

Front-month September milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled 3.25 euros, or 1.9pc, higher at 176.75 euros  ($198.81) a tonne, after adding as much as 4 euros following the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) monthly crop report.

Prior to the USDA data, spot Paris futures had traded slightly higher as they consolidated above Wednesday's seven-week low of 172.25 euros.

The more active December futures closed up 3 euros at 181.25 euros.

In its widely followed report, the USDA lowered its forecast of world wheat production in 2019/20 by 9.3 million tonnes to 771.5 million, including a 3.8 million tonne decrease to projected Russian output to 74.2 million.

The agency also reduced its forecast of European Union wheat production by 2.5 million tonnes.

With many traders shrugging off the USDA's US corn projections, due to a recent planting survey considered to be too high given torrential Midwest rain, attention focused on the agency's new wheat numbers.

Like other forecasters, the USDA still expects higher production in Russia and the EU than last year, and the prospect of relatively abundant world supply weighed on prices earlier this week.

But a series of estimate reductions by analysts has created some uncertainty.

In Europe, Strategie Grains analysts cut their monthly forecast for this year's European Union soft wheat harvest by more than 2 million tonnes due to the effects of a late-June heatwave in western Europe.

In Germany, standard bread wheat with 12pc protein for September onwards delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale prior to the USDA report at 3.5 euros under Paris December, unchanged from a day earlier.

Buyers were seeking at least 4.5 euros under.

Negative export sentiment, with Russia and Baltic States offering cheaper high-protein wheat, was continuing to keep German prices below Euronext levels, traders said.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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