Thursday, September 21st, 2017
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European wheat futures pared early-day gains on Tuesday after a US Department of Agriculture published forecasts of large crops, which put pressure on Chicago futures. December milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange unofficially closed up 0.5 euros or 0.3 percent at 159.50 euros a tonne.

Paris December had been up 1 euro just before the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates were published at 1600 GMT. The USDA unexpectedly raised its US corn and soybean harvest forecasts on Tuesday, adding further bearish pressure to a market already struggling with massive global supplies, pushing down US wheat, corn and soybean futures.

Activity on the French cash market was thin. "The export market remains blocked. Prices are not high enough for farmers but French wheat is too expensive on the world market," a broker said. German cash premiums in Hamburg were slightly weaker in slack demand as the outlook for German exports remained depressed after rain damaged the harvest in August.

Standard bread wheat with 12 percent protein content was offered for sale at 1.5 euros over the Paris December contract for September delivery in Hamburg, against 2 euros over on Monday. In Poland, where late summer rain also damaged the harvest in some areas, exports got off to a slow start this season. "The more to the north of Poland you go, the worse the quality is, so it will be not easy to fulfil the export hopes of 3 million tonnes of wheat this year," one Polish trader said.

"The domestic market is quiet, flour mills and feed mills have covered their needs for the next four to six weeks and are not in a hurry to buy. Farmers are cleaning, drying and sorting their different quality grades." Exporter purchase prices for wheat for September delivery to Polish ports were unchanged on the week at 665-670 zloty (156-157 euros) a tonne for 12.5 percent protein wheat and 740-745 zloty a tonne for 14 percent protein wheat.

"We see some export loadings ports but activity is still pretty slow," he said. One vessel has just finished loading 55,000 tonnes of wheat in Gdynia for Saudi Arabia and another is loading 30,000 tonnes of wheat in Gdynia for Africa. In Stettin one ship is loading 30,000 tonnes of wheat for Haiti. Some small coasters are loading wheat in Gdynia, Gdansk and Stettin for importers in south Europe.

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