Paris wheat hits new lows on Black Sea glut, technical pressure

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 17, 2017 2:12 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - Euronext wheat slipped to new contract lows on Thursday as a bumper harvest in the Black Sea export region hung over international markets, while spot futures also faced technical pressure.

December milling wheat, the most active contract on the Paris-based Euronext exchange, settled down 0.75 euro at 162.50 euros a tonne, after touching a contract low of 161.00 euros.

Front-month September fell more sharply, giving up as much as 3.75 euros to hit a contract low of 155.00 euros, which also marked a new eight-month low for a spot price. It later settled 2.25 euros lower at 156.50 euros.

Selling pressure on the front month increased following Tuesday's expiry of options against September futures.

"There was a lack of buying interest in September futures from financial investors after the options expired and there was rolling of positions toward December," one dealer said.

Euronext also continued to be curbed by weaker U.S. wheat futures and signs that big harvests in Russia and elsewhere in the Black Sea zone were intensifying export competition.

A tender by Egypt on Wednesday, in which the world's largest wheat importer booked 295,000 tonnes of Russian wheat and 60,000 tonnes of Ukraine wheat, drew offers totaling around 1 million tonnes of Russian wheat.

"There is just an avalanche of Russian wheat," one trader said.

Weekly European Union data showed 2017/18 soft wheat exports from the bloc had reached 1.5 million tonnes by Aug. 15, down 60 percent from the same period last season.

Traders were also awaiting a clearer picture of wheat quality in Germany and elsewhere in northern Europe, where rain has slowed harvesting and threatened to lower milling quality.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Susan Fenton)