AMSTERDAM, March 8 European wheat futures edged higher on
Friday, supported by a rebound at the overnight close in Chicago, but stayed
near an eight-month low in cautious trading ahead of closely watched U.S.
Department of Agriculture crop forecasts.
* Benchmark May milling wheat on the Paris futures market was up
0.75 euros or 0.32 percent at 231.75 euros a tonne by 1200 GMT. On Thursday, it
touched a lowest level on the contract since July 2 at 230.25 euros.
* Chicago wheat rose sharply on Thursday in a bounce from a near
nine-month low, before edging down on Friday.
* "Operators are waiting for the USDA report to be published later today in
order to evolve in their strategy," French consultancy Agritel said, noting that
Paris prices were holding for now at technical support levels.
* Analysts and traders are not expecting sweeping revisions to the USDA's
monthly U.S. and world forecasts but as usual any unexpected changes could
trigger price movements. The data is due at 1700 GMT.
* The focus could be on soybeans, with operators expecting the USDA to cut
projected stocks due to adverse weather in Argentina and robust demand for tight
* "With a fall in both U.S. and world stocks, the USDA report could generate
a fresh price rally," French consultancy Offre & Demande Agricole said of
* Wheat prices have been weighed down this week by growing signs of a
recovery in global supply.
* However, brisk weekly wheat exports in both the European Union and the
United States suggested the pullback in prices was stirring demand.
* Dealing in Germany's market was restrained as some participants took to
the sidelines ahead of the release of the key USDA late on Friday.
* Standard milling wheat for March delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale
up 1 euro at 248 euros a tonne with buyers at around 246 euros, with prices
marked up to reflect the strength in Paris.
* "Quite a few people decided to take to the sidelines today as the USDA
report is issued so late in the day," one German trader said. "The USDA report
is published at 1800 European time which gives only half an hour for people to
react before the Paris market closes."
* German prices continued to hold above Paris levels because of tight
supplies and continued export hopes, although recent favourable estimates of
wheat output have weakened premiums, dealers said.
* "U.S. wheat still looks the cheapest on world markets but the high volume
of 607,000 tonnes of EU wheat export licences awarded in the last week is
encouraging," another trader said.
* "The total licences included 241,000 tonnes taken by traders in Germany
possibly for recent sales to Saudi Arabia but also possibly to be used for
exports from eastern EU states like Romania."
* EU wheat export licences taken in one country can be used to export wheat
from any EU state.
* 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 253 euros a tonne with buyers at
* Prices as of 1312 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd Pct
London wheat 0.00 -197.00 -100.00 153.65 -100.00
Paris maize 219.50 0.50 +0.23 197.25 11.28
Paris rape 470.75 -0.25 -0.05 421.50 11.68
CBOT wheat 688.00 1.25 +0.18 671.25 2.50
CBOT corn 716.75 5.25 +0.74 654.75 9.47
CBOT soybeans 1502.00 -1.50 -0.10 1207.75 24.36
Crude oil 91.02 -0.54 -0.59 98.83 -7.90
Euro/dlr 1.31 0.10 +8.02 1.30 1.01
* All grain and oilseed prices for second position. Paris futures prices in
Euros per tonne, London wheat in pounds per tonne and CBOT in cents per bushel.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris, Michael Hogan in Hamburg and Ivana
Sekularac in Amsterdam; editing by Keiron Henderson)