UPDATE 1-European wheat futures mixed, U.S. holiday weighs
AMSTERDAM, Sept 3 (Reuters) - European wheat futures were mixed on Monday in thin trade with an absence of direction as markets in the U.S. were closed for a Labor Day Holiday, traders said.
* "Markets are lethargic, in volume and in prices," one trader said.
* By 1514 GMT, benchmark contract November milling wheat in Paris was 0.1 percent higher at 264.00 euros a tonne. Volume was thin with a total of 3,776 lots traded by 1516 GMT for the November contract against over 22,000 on Friday.
* Russia's government will not limit grain exports even if its exportable surplus is exhausted, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said on Friday.
* "The crop (in Russia) will only be just sufficient to meet domestic demand. Speculation about export restrictions is thus likely to persist on the market, lending support to the wheat prices," Germany's Commerzbank said in a statement.
* Ukraine, which plans to export 20 million tonnes of grain in the 2012/13 season, exported 2.99 million tonnes in July-August, 60 percent more than in the same period in 2011, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday.
* A cargo is expected later this week in the port of Rouen in northwest France to load a rare 60,000 tonnes of barley for Iran, in the first French barley shipment to the Middle East country for several seasons, port data showed on Monday.
* German prices were little changed compared with late Friday levels, with tight feed supplies along with continued export hopes supporting.
* Standard milling wheat for September delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale flat at 268 euros a tonne with buyers at around 266 euros, but retaining recent premiums over Paris prices.
* "We still have a firm undertone because of tight feed grain supplies while export hopes remain despite the Russian government's decision on Friday not to limit grain exports," one German trader said.
* "There is hope that importing countries seeking higher quality will turn to Germany. Part of the large Saudi Arabian purchase over the weekend could be sourced in Germany, although the purchase was optional."
* Saudi Arabia bought 575,000 tonnes of hard wheat from the European Union, Australia, and North and South America for shipment during the December-February period, the state Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organisation (GSFMO) said on Sunday.
* Germany is likely to harvest 22.5 million tonnes of wheat, down 1.5 percent on the year, the agriculture ministry said on Friday.
* The forecast compares to 22.8 million tonnes estimated by Germany's leading grain trading house Toepfer International, 21 million tonnes estimated by the German farmers' association and 22.3 million tonnes forecast by the agricultural cooperatives association.
* "With the harvest now over, it looks like Germany will achieve a crop of good quality with less feed wheat than people had expected when there was repeated rain earlier this summer," another trader said. "This is supporting feed wheat prices."
* Feed wheat for September-December delivery in the South Oldenburg market near the Netherlands was quoted very close to milling wheat, offered for sale at 265 euros a tonne with buyers around 263 euros.
* Feed wheat futures in London were slightly lower in thin volume, weighed partly by a rise in the value of sterling against both the euro and dollar.
* November feed wheat traded down 0.85 pounds or 0.4 percent at 204.00 pounds a tonne.
* Dealers said they were keeping a close watch on Britain's wheat harvest, which is running around 10 days behind normal following heavy rains. More favourable weather is, however, expected this week.
* "The U.K. weather has turned dry and warmer for many and harvest has finally started in large parts of the north and west after the wettest summer in 100 years," U.K. merchant Frontier said in a market note on Monday. (Reporting by Muriel Bosselli and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris, Michael Hogan in Hamburg, Nigel Hunt in London and Ivana Sekularac in Amsterdam; Editing by Alison Birrane)
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