(Updates prices) PARIS, Aug 29 (Reuters) - European wheat prices rose on Wednesday, supported by a strong rise on U.S. grains markets, good export demand and persistent uncertainty about potential restrictions on Russian wheat exports that would benefit EU wheat, traders said. * Repeated cuts in Russia's 2012 grain crop forecasts, which the government lowered to 75 million tonnes, has sparked concerns Moscow might curb exports, stoking a rally in global prices. * Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who coordinates farm policy, will discuss prospects for Russia's drought-hit grain harvest with Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov on Friday. * "I think the general firm market tendency is because of the Russian meeting on Friday about wheat exports," one German trader said. "Any export restrictions by Russia would push demand to France and Germany." * However, most traders said they believed a decision to restrict exports was unlikely to be taken this week. * Europe's benchmark wheat price, the November contract on Paris-based milling wheat futures, was 1.3 percent higher by 1548 GMT at 264.50 euros a tonne. * Traders also pointed to good export demand from North Africa as a supportive element for EU wheat prices. * Tunisia's state grains agency bought 150,000 tonnes of optional-origin milling wheat on Wednesday, Jordan is looking for 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat (in addition to 150,000 tonnes of feed barley) and Saudi Arabia tendered to buy 550,000 tonnes of hard wheat. * Syria also issued a new tender to import 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat, a commodity not subject to sanctions, as feeding its people becomes harder in the chaos of civil war. * "Algeria and Morocco are not covered either and will have to come back to the market soon, which means prices are meant to stay high," one trader said. GERMANY * German prices were up in line with Paris, with export hopes supporting and feed wheat prices firming as signs increased that Germany has achieved a wheat harvest of satisfactory quality despite repeated summer rain. * Standard milling wheat for September delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale up 3 euros at 269 euros a tonne with buyers at around 267 euros. * New crop feed wheat in the South Oldenburg market near the Netherlands was quoted just under milling wheat, offered for sale at up 3 euros at 266 euros a tonne with buyers around 263 euros. * Germany's wheat harvest is now finished apart from a very few minor areas in the north, traders said. * Germany's harvest outlook changed dramatically after a burst of sunshine in past weeks enabled very fast progress to be made after repeated rain had delayed the harvest start. * Germany will harvest 22.8 million tonnes of wheat this year, slightly up on the 2011 crop of 22.7 million tonnes, Germany's leading grain trading house Toepfer International said. * "There is a slight problem with protein content in German wheat this year but this is only a marginal difficulty and it is becoming more apparent that German wheat quality this year is good to satisfactory," another trader said. "There will be lower volumes of feed wheat available than thought earlier in the summer when we had rain almost every day." * "This means feed wheat prices are again approaching bread wheat prices. With global corn prices so high, it seems compound feed makers are not going to find an easy alternative in wheat and will have to face feed wheat prices at milling prices in coming months." * New crop feed wheat in the South Oldenburg market near the Netherlands was quoted just under milling wheat, offered for sale at up 2 euros at 265 euros a tonne with buyers around 262 euros. Prices at 1541 GMT Product Last Change Pct Move End Ytd 2011 Pct Paris wheat 263.00 2.25 +0.86 202.50 29.88 London wheat 204.00 0.75 +0.37 153.65 32.77 Paris maize 254.00 2.25 +0.89 196.75 29.10 Paris rape 516.00 3.25 +0.63 438.25 17.74 CBOT wheat 879.25 24.50 +2.87 652.75 34.70 CBOT corn 806.25 16.75 +2.12 646.60 24.69 CBOT soy 1746.75 14.25 +0.82 1198.50 45.74 Crude oil 95.20 -1.13 -1.17 98.83 -3.67 Euro/dlr 1.25 -0.01 -1.04 1.30 -3.16 * Paris futures prices in Euros per tonne, London wheat in pounds per tonne and CBOT in cents per bushel. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris and; Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by William Hardy)
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