January 18, 2018 / 5:45 AM / a year ago

Australia wheat bid/ask spread widens on firmer Aussie dollar

SINGAPORE, Jan 18 (Reuters) -

* The spread between the price Australian farmers are seeking from the market and which buyers are willing to pay has grown unusuallly wide for this time of the year, stretched as the country’s currency strengthens and as farmers hold back supply

* Exporters are asking $230, free on board, for a tonne of Australian Premium White, while the buyers are at $220 a tonne, three trade sources said

* “Usually the spread is around $2-$3 a tonne, this is ridiculous since we are in peak marketing season for U.S. wheat,” said a grains trader in Singapore

* “As a result of this, there are not many deals taking place because buyers know that there are plenty of wheat supplies across the world,” the trader added, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to speak with media

* Australian wheat prices have climbed by around $5-$7 a tonne since last week despite losses in the benchmark U.S. wheat market

* Chicago Board of Trade wheat futures dropped to a one-month low on Tuesday, with lack of demand for U.S. shipments and abundant world supplies weighing on the market

* The Australian dollar has jumped more than 6 percent from its December-low against the greenback. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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