PARIS (Reuters) - Euronext wheat rose for a third session in a row on Friday in step with Chicago as speculation over quality problems in Argentine wheat added to hopes of fresh demand for French and U.S. supplies.
Wheat was also supported by strength across financial markets as investors welcomed confirmation that Washington and Beijing would hold trade talks next week, and were reassured by better than expected U.S. jobs data. [MKTS/GLOB]
Gains for wheat were modest, however, as sentiment was tempered by a lack of confirmation of new export sales, while the absence of many participants during the new year holiday period deprived the market of impetus, traders said.
March milling wheat, the most active contract on Paris-based Euronext, settled up 1.00 euro, or 0.5 percent, at 207.00 euros ($235.98) a tonne, just off a new two-week high of 207.25 euros touched in late trading.
U.S. wheat was also firm, extending a rebound this week. [GRA/]
Wheat markets have been anticipating shift in export demand away from Russia, where supplies are tightening, and toward the United States and to a lesser extent France.
“It looks like U.S. cash prices are at a decent discount to Russian which is no doubt helping the rally,” one futures dealer said.
Uncertainty over wheat quality in Argentina was further fueled by market rumors that a cargo of Argentine wheat had been rejected by major importer Algeria.
Doubts over Argentine quality could lead trading firms to prefer French or U.S. wheat to supply Algeria, traders said.
However, some traders said prospects for west European exports were less promising than for U.S. shipments.
“Sadly, U.S. wheat is looking ominously cheap compared to France and Germany which could mean the EU’s lackluster export performance could continue unless the euro gets a lot weaker,” a German trader said.
In Germany, standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein for January delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 2.0 euros over Paris March.
Feed wheat in the South Oldenburg market for January onwards delivery was offered for sale above milling wheat at around 219 euros a tonne, with buyers at around 218 euros.
“German domestic demand, especially for animal feed, is again more important than exports,” the German trader said.
($1 = 0.8772 euros)
Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Valerie Parent in Paris and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by Mark Potter