EU wheat down on strong euro, gloomy exports
European wheat prices edged lower on Wednesday, pressured by the strength of the euro against the dollar which makes already struggling exports less competitive, traders said.
May milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext,unofficially closed 1.1 percent lower at 163.75 euros a tonne.
A fall on the Chicago Board of Trade, where most active wheat was down 0.6 percent by 1731 GMT, also weighed.
France faces the prospect of a further cut to its official forecast for soft wheat exports outside the EU after customs data showed shipments slowed in January, while port data indicated volumes tailed off again in February.
France, the European Union's biggest grain producer, has faced stiff overseas competition led by Russia, curbing attempts to sell a higher-quality 2017 French crop overseas and leaving
France more reliant on exports within the EU.
Volumes on Euronext were thin as traders awaited a U.S. Department of Agriculture world supply and demand report on Thursday.
In Germany, wheat cash market premiums in Hamburg were little changed with the stronger trend of the euro weakening export prospects here too.
Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein content for March delivery was offered for sale unchanged at 2.0 euros over Paris May.
"Both buying and selling interest is weak with the strong euro making new export sales more difficult and mills seeming to have pretty good old crop supply cover," one German trader said. "Farmer selling is also slack."
"They are busy with other things, as the warmer temperatures after the double-digit frosts last week have thawed out land enabling some farmers to undertake delayed field work."
Feed wheat prices in Germany's South Oldenburg market were again just above milling wheat on demand from feed makers, with March onwards delivery offered for sale unchanged at 174 euros a tonne with buyers seeking 172 euros.
Prices at 1731 GMT
Pct End Ytd
Move 2017 Pct
Paris wheat May 163.75 -1.75
-1.06 162.50 0.77
Paris maize Jun 161.75 -1.75
-1.07 163.50 -1.07
Paris rape May 349.00 -2.75
-0.78 347.75 0.36
CBOT wheat May 503.75 -3.25
-0.64 427.00 17.97
CBOT corn May 388.25 0.00
0.00 350.75 10.69
CBOT soy May 1068.50 -6.25
-0.58 951.75 12.27
WTI crude oil 60.81 -1.79
-2.86 60.42 0.65
Euro/dlr 1.24 0.00
Most active contracts - Wheat, corn and soy US cents/bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne.