Euronext wheat slips to new one-month low


European wheat futures fell to a new one-month low as the start of harvesting in the northern hemisphere took attention away from weather damage in Russia, while export sentiment remained downbeat despite a falling euro.

Benchmark September milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled 0.7% down at 236.75 euros ($253.35) a ton.

It earlier fell to 235.50 euros, its weakest since May 6 and the latest in a series of one-month lows this week.

“There’s still bearish momentum with selling interest but we could see prices bottom out now we’ve reached the 240 euro level,” a futures dealer said.

After rallying to one-year highs in May, Euronext has retreated as the market has shifted its focus from reduced forecasts for Russia’s crop to the onset of harvesting in the United States and stiff competition in export markets.

Rain in dry parts of Russia and Ukraine this week have also encouraged prices to ease.

“There is more focus on lack of demand and intense price competition from Russia but also from other Black Sea exporters like Ukraine and Romania,” a German trader said.

Russian prices remained weak following Turkey’s import suspension, but rival Black Sea suppliers were even lower.

Russian 12.5% protein wheat for Black Sea June/July shipment ranged widely on Friday around $241-$250 a ton FOB. Russian 11.5% protein wheat was $236-$245 a ton FOB.

Romanian June/July shipment 11.5% wheat was lower at around $235 a ton FOB, Ukrainian was cheapest at between $221 and $233 FOB.

“West EU cash market premiums are low and will have to stay low to attract export business,” the trader said.

The euro fell to its lowest in over a month against the dollar, pressured by political uncertainty in France, but western European prices remained well above Black Sea levels in dollar terms.

Spain’s barley harvest was gathering speed, reducing Spanish feed grain requirement from other EU suppliers, traders said.

In France, wheat loading activity has picked up in the past week, including several cargoes due for Algeria, suggesting the recent price fall may have prompted merchants to choose French wheat for some nearby destinations.

French soft wheat crop conditions were stable last week but remained at a four-year low after damp growing season, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed.

Source: Reuters