Euronext wheat futures were little changed on Wednesday as the market consolidated while awaiting the outcome of a tender by Algeria, the largest overseas market for French wheat.
Expectations that Argentine wheat could claim a sizeable share of any Algerian purchase, together with a clean sweep for Russian wheat in a day-earlier tender by Egypt, were curbing Paris prices.
However, Euronext drew some support from a firm trend in Chicago and steady physical premiums in France, linked in turn to limited selling and a run of exports to China, traders said. March milling wheat, the most active contract on the Paris-based Euronext exchange, settled down 0.25 euro, or 0.1%, at 184.00 euros ($202.80) a tonne.
The contract had fallen on Tuesday as it retreated from a 4-1/2 month high of 187.00 euros touched on Monday. Egypt’s purchase of 295,000 tonnes of all-Russian origin wheat in a tender on Tuesday suggested Russian supplies remained competitive despite a recent run-up in prices.
French traders were focused on a tender being held by Algeria on Wednesday, with the January-February shipment period being seen as favourable for just-harvested Argentine supplies. However, the chances of Argentine wheat against main supplier France would depend on harvest quality and the export policy of a new Argentine government that takes office later this month, traders said.
Weekly Euronext data showed financial investors turned long in Euronext’s milling wheat futures and options last week.
In Germany, cash premiums in Hamburg were underpinned by a continuing programme of export shipments.
Standard bread wheat with 12% protein for January delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 2.5 euros over the Paris March contract. Buyers were offering around 1.5 euro over Paris.
German exports increased in recent weeks after prices rose in rival exporters in the Black Sea region, especially Russia, generating a series of ship loadings in German ports.
“Russian prices have become more competitive recently as was shown by the success of Russian wheat in Egypt’s purchase tender on Tuesday,” one German trader said.
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