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French wheat at highs on US gains, feed demand
PARIS , French wheat futures jumped to new highs on Monday on the back of a strong close by US futures on Friday, fresh demand by animal feed makers and the reluctance of co-operatives to sell, traders said.
Euronext milling wheat futures were up between 2.00 and 4.00 euros a tonne, setting new highs across the board.
Front month November was up 3.00 euros at 138.00 in volume of 216 lots. "In wheat, US prices are key right now and the market was surprised by the rise in Chicago on Friday," one trader said.
Chicago Board of Trade wheat closed sharply higher on Friday on aggressive late buying by commodity fund Refco and news the United States was placing tougher restrictions on imports of Canadian wheat.
Traders reported a lack of sellers in the market and strong demand from animal feed makers believed to be thinly covered in the near term.
"The internal demand is not covered because animal feed makers have not anticipated their needs, and farmers are reluctant to sell their grain," another trader said.
"And prices are going to keep rising as long as the European Commission doesn't inject more grain into the market.
Mills can't work with sand," he added.
The Commission this month agreed to sell off grain stocks to the internal market in a bid to ease the tight market for feed grain.
Tenders will run from September 18 to December 18. A possible downward revision of the European maize crop was also in traders' mind, they said.
"The problem with maize is very serious.
There is talk of a 40 percent fall in France and this clearly has a direct effect on wheat prices," one trader said.
In its latest statistics last week, the French farm ministry said it expected the French 2003/04-grain maize crop to fall 25 percent from last year.
MGR Archive 2.9.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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