EU wheat futures hit 11-month low as crop prospects improve

LONDON Mon May 20, 2013 7:51am EDT

LONDON May 20 (Reuters) - Milling wheat futures in Paris fell to an 11-month low on Monday with prices driven down by improving crop conditions in key producing countries.

* Dealers noted cash markets were at a virtual standstill, however, due to public holidays in several countries in western Europe including France, Germany and the Netherlands.

* November milling wheat in Paris stood 0.75 euros or 0.4 percent lower at 205.50 euros a tonne at 1140 GMT after touching 204.75 euros, an 11-month low for the contract.

* "We are seeing good advancement in growth for the French winter grain crop after the delays we had seen up until recently," said Jaime Nolan-Miralles, commodity risk manager with INTL FCStone.

* Analysts also cited an improved outlook for wheat crops in the Black Sea region, the United States and Australia.

* "We can expect improving conditions for the Ukraine over the next three days with additional rains expected in Western and Central areas. The overall outlook for the Ukraine winter grain crop remain favourable and concerns over dryness are easing," Nolan-Miralles said.

* In Russia, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) raised its 2013 wheat crop forecast by 2.5 percent due to a bigger-than-expected harvest in its largest growing region and despite hot and dry weather in other regions.

* November feed wheat in London fell 1.10 pounds or 0.6 percent to 177.75 pounds a tonne, its lowest level since October 2012. (Reporting by Nigel Hunt; editing by James Jukwey)