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EU wheat markets ease as Ukraine grain begins to move

04 August 2022

Traders cautious about large-scale Ukrainian sea trade

Euronext wheat prices fell on Wednesday in step with Chicago futures as progress in resuming maritime grain exports from war-torn Ukraine offset support from brisk international demand, reported Reuters, citing traders.

December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext settled down 1.1% at 323.00 euros ($327.91) a tonne.

The contract had earlier risen to 330.75 euros, before turning lower to approach Tuesday's one-week low of 321.25 euros.

A firmer dollar also weighed on Chicago grain prices. 

The first grain vessel to leave a Ukrainian sea port since the start of Russia's invasion was inspected in Turkey on Wednesday before its onward journey to Lebanon, raising hopes for a safe-passage deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

A senior Turkish official said three ships could leave Ukrainian ports daily after the first sailing, while Ukraine's infrastructure minister said 17 more ships had been loaded with agricultural produce and were waiting to set sail.

However, traders remained cautious about the scope for large-scale Ukrainian sea trade while Russia's invasion continued and pending the creation of insurance cover for such shipments. 

Euronext had earlier in the session extended a rebound from Tuesday's low as a purchase estimated at over 700,000 tonnes by Algeria underscored strong export prospects for European Union wheat. 

Tunisia also booked wheat in a tender. 

In Germany, physical premiums remained well supported by export demand and slow farmer selling.

Buyers of standard 12% protein wheat for September delivery in Hamburg were offering around 31 euros a tonne over the Euronext December contract but with few sales offers seen in the market.

"Much export demand looks likely to be met by Europe for the coming weeks despite the start of Ukrainian sea shipments," one German trader said. 

In France, recent sales to Pakistan reported by traders were expected to contribute to another busy loading programme this month after an unusually brisk start to the season in July.

Port data also showed a vessel due to call in France to load barley for Iran, the third such shipment since June in what traders say reflects a partial shift in barley exports away from China.

Source: Reuters



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