March 14, 2018 / 6:30 PM / 8 months ago

EU wheat steady with Chicago as market seeks weather clues

PARIS (Reuters) - Euronext wheat futures edged higher on Wednesday, supported by steady U.S. futures and an easing euro, while business was subdued as traders awaited fresh indications about crop weather.

May milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled 1.00 euro, or 0.6 percent, higher at 165.00 euros a tonne, its highest level of the session.

But it stayed below Monday’s one-week high of 165.50 euros, with slow western European exports hanging over the market.

Chicago wheat turned slightly higher in hesitant trade as investors assessed rain forecasts seen as bringing limited relief to parched wheat belts in the U.S. Plains.

“U.S. wheat like soybeans has been reflecting fairly faithfully the weather,” one futures dealer said.

“We might be at the stage now where crops can only get better if there is rain. We’ll have to see what the U.S. crop ratings looks like when nationwide reports resume in early April.”

In France, there was little reaction to a cut by FranceAgriMer to its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season, seen as bringing the farming agency into line with private forecasters.

FranceAgriMer cut its forecast by 500,000 tonnes to 8.5 million, although it still trimmed projected stocks as it raised sharply estimated on-farm use of wheat.

In Germany, wheat cash market premiums in Hamburg were little changed as Germany’s export outlook remained depressed.

Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein content for March delivery was offered for sale unchanged at 4.00 euros over Paris May.

“Inland wheat prices in Germany are higher than in ports, especially for feed wheat, which is preventing supplies being offered for sale on the coast,” one German trader said.

“Some sporadic new export sales of German wheat are being made, including to cover Saudi Arabia’s April shipments, but this is not enough to excite the market.”

Feed wheat prices in Germany’s South Oldenburg market were well above milling wheat, with March onwards delivery offered for sale up 0.50 euro to 174 euros a tonne with buyers seeking 173 euros.

High maize (corn) prices continued to generate strong demand for German feed wheat by feed manufacturers, traders said.

Reporting by Valerie Parent and Gus Trompiz in Paris and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by Edmund Blair

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