EU wheat subdued amid Cyprus fears; weak euro supports

Mon Mar 18, 2013 10:01am EDT

PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) - Western European wheat prices were mostly flat
to lower on Monday as export-boosting weakness in the euro partly offset broad
losses in commodities linked to a controversial bailout plan for euro-zone
member Cyprus.
    * Worries over the consequences of a proposed bailout for Cyprus, which
would tax bank deposits, sent the euro sliding to a lowest level in more than
three months against the dollar, and also led to selling in equities and most
commodities.  
    * May milling wheat on the Paris futures market edged up 0.25 euros
or 0.11 percent at 234.75 euros a tonne by 1228 GMT in thin trading. It was
still close to a one-week high of 235.00 euros seen on Friday.
    * U.S. wheat fell about 1 percent to add to a slight drop on Friday, with
the stronger dollar encouraging more selling after a two-week high last week.
 
    * "We're adjusting to movements in Chicago and the euro since Friday's
close," a French dealer said.
    * The Paris benchmark contract remained in a consolidation range between 230
and 236 euros, with operators already looking ahead to end-of-month U.S.
government stock and planting estimates for firmer fundamental direction,
dealers said.
    * The weakness in the euro was underpinning export prospects as importing
countries Jordan and Tunisia launched tenders. 
    * European Union wheat export licences have remained brisk this month
despite competition from cheaper U.S. wheat, with last week's volume well above
the average pace this season. 
    
    GERMANY
    * German wheat was again quoted over Paris, underpinned by expectations of
low supplies before the large new 2013 crop arrives, with the weaker euro also
seen as helpful for EU exports.
    * Standard milling wheat for March delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale
down 1 euro at 249 euros a tonne with buyers at around 247 euros.
    * "The weaker euro seen today because of the Cyprus rescue will be a help
for EU exporters and will help erode U.S. competitiveness in the latest tenders
announced today from Jordan and Tunisia," one German trader said.
  
    * Snow cover was helping protect grains from a cold snap in Germany. "There
is a bit of concern about high winds blowing snow cover off fields but, I think
plants in the north and east generally have good snow cover," another trader
said.
    * Continued demand and tight supplies kept feed wheat prices close or above
milling wheat in parts of Germany.
    * Feed wheat for nearby delivery in the South Oldenburg market near the
Netherlands was offered for sale down 1 euro at 252 euros a tonne with buyers at
250 euros.
        
 * Prices as of 1336 GMT
                                                                   
  Product             Last    Change   Pct Move End 2012 Ytd Pct 
 
  Paris wheat         234.75     0.00    +0.00   250.25    -6.19
  London wheat        196.50    -1.40    -0.71   210.25    -6.54
  Paris maize         224.50    -0.75    -0.33   237.75    -5.57
  Paris rape          460.75    -1.75    -0.38   456.25     0.99
  CBOT wheat          715.25    -7.75    -1.07   778.00    -8.07
  CBOT corn           712.00    -5.00    -0.70   698.25     1.97
  CBOT soybeans      1412.75   -13.25    -0.93  1418.75    -0.42
  Crude oil            91.94    -1.51    -1.62    91.82     0.13
 
 * All contracts front month except second month for London wheat.
 Paris futures prices in euros per tonne, London wheat in pounds
 per tonne and CBOT in cents per bushel.
 
 
 (Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Valerie Parent in Paris, Michael Hogan in
Hamburg, editing by Alison Birrane)
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