PARIS: Euronext wheat futures were little changed on Friday as the market assessed weather risks to U.S. and European crops while initial results from an Algerian tender underlined tough export competition.
March milling wheat, the most active contract on Paris-based Euronext, was up 0.25 euro, or 0.2 percent, at 160.75 euros a tonne by 1711 GMT. It was set to post a slight rise over the week after recovering from a life-of-contract low of 158.25 euros on Tuesday. A drop in Chicago futures, linked to profit-taking after a one-month high this week, was cushioned by a weaker euro, which was easing back from this week’s four-month peak against the dollar. The recent strength in the euro, however, penalised French chances in an import tender held on Thursday by Algeria, the biggest overseas market for French wheat.
Initial estimates reported by traders on Friday pointed to a purchase of at least 390,000 tonnes, with prices cited between $209.25 and $213 a tonne, cost and freight, seen suggesting Argentine wheat could claim a chunk of the optional-origin deal. The choice of origin remains to be determined, but the average sale price from what we know so far is about $211 C&F and that reflects more the supply cost from Argentina than from France,” one trader said of the Algerian tender.
Delayed European Union data published on Friday also underscored a difficult export season, with EU 2017/18 soft wheat exports running 20 percent behind last season’s level as of Jan. 2. In Europe, heavy rain in France was causing concern about excess moisture, while mild weather across the region was leading to talk about a lack of snow cover should a cold spell come.