EU Wheat Hits 3-month Low As Egypt Seeks Supplies

EU wheat futures fell to a 3-month low on Thursday as the market adjusted to recent weakness in U.S. markets, although a tender by Egypt is providing an opportunity to test the competitiveness of supplies from rival exporters.

* Egypt’s main wheat-buying agency, the General Authority for Supply Commodities, is tendering to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment Feb. 15-28.

* “The latest Egyptian wheat tender … could be a good opportunity to estimate U.S. wheat competitiveness as prices have fallen sharply over the past month,” Arnaud Saulais of Starsupply Commodity Brokers said in a note.

* March milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext market, was down 1.50 euros or 0.8 percent at 191.50 euros a tonne by 1324 GMT.

* The contract had earlier dipped to 191.25 euro, its lowest level since Oct. 2.

* Egypt bought U.S. wheat only in its previous tender last Saturday and a fresh U.S. success coupled with continued offers of eastern European wheat could dampen French export sentiment, dealers said.

* Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday cut its forecast of French soft wheat exports outside the EU in 2013/14 to 11.5 million tonnes from 11.8 million last month, citing lower prospects for sales to Egypt.

* German wheat premiums were stable with a large port loading programme and export optimism again supporting prices above Paris levels.

* Standard milling wheat for January delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 4 euros over the Paris March contract.

* “A large loading programme is underway for wheat exports in Hamburg and Rostock and this is now expected to continue until the end of February,” one trader said. “The focus is on logistics to support this programme.”

* “Currently large volumes of wheat are being transported smoothly. The mild winter means inland waterways shipping is moving without problems as rivers and canals are not frozen.”

* “There is also optimism that German wheat is currently competitive in international tenders for high quality wheat such as required by buyers like Saudi Arabia.”

* Feed wheat futures in London were also lower with May off 1.50 pounds at 156.00 pounds.

Source: Reuters