Paris wheat futures supported by rising U.S. markets

HAMBURG (Reuters) – Paris wheat prices rose on Thursday, supported by a sharp rise in U.S. markets, though business was curbed by public holidays in several European countries including France.

December milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange was up 1.50 euros, or 0.7 percent, at the psychologically important level of 200 euros ($227.84) a tonne at 1622 GMT.

The price had slipped to 197.75 euros on Wednesday, setting a six-week low.

Chicago wheat was up 1.2 percent in early trade on Thursday and soybeans rose 3.7 percent after U.S. President Donald Trump said he had a “very good” talk with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that trade discussions with China were “moving along nicely”.

This sparked hope of progress in the U.S.-China trade war, which has been highly damaging to U.S. soybean and grain exports.

“EU wheat is receiving support from the sharp rise in Chicago grains and soybeans, which rose in the early afternoon after the positive comments by President Trump,” said Charles Clack, agricultural commodity analyst at Rabobank.

“Naturally any progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute would not have a direct impact on French wheat. But there is knock-on support from higher Chicago markets on a day with public holidays in France and other European countries.”

There were also indications of slowing exports from EU rival Russia.

Russia’s agriculture safety watchdog plans to ask a court for a temporary suspension of operations at five grain loading points, the RIA news agency said.

In Germany, cash premiums in Hamburg were flat as low export demand continued.

Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein for November delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 3 euros over Paris December.

“Germany’s wheat exports are likely to remain depressed in coming weeks as high prices continue after our poor crop this summer,” one German trader said.

“One ship is expected to load about 60,000 tonnes of wheat in Germany for Saudi Arabia in the coming days, but that is not enough to excite the market. Hopes rest on new inquiries for wheat coming in from South Africa and western Africa.”

Firm prices for feed grain again provided background support.

Feed wheat in Germany’s South Oldenburg market for November/December delivery was offered for sale well over milling wheat, unchanged at about 216 euros a tonne, with buyers seeking 214 euros.

Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by David Goodman

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