EU Wheat Closes Mostly Lower Tracking CBOT, Outside Markets

EU wheat closed mostly lower Thursday, tracking Chicago wheat and crude oil and equities.

Paris November milling wheat was up EUR0.50 at EUR156.75/tonne, and London November feed wheat was down GBP0.35 at GBP128.65/tonne.

Other Paris contracts ranged from EUR0.25 higher to EUR0.75 lower. London wheat was between GBP1.75 and GBP0.25 lower, with new crop gaining on deferred months, the May/Nov spread was back up to GBP10.15/tonne at the close, which will do little to encourage old crop selling.

Eastern European crops are in need of some moisture relief, with crops from Russia's Black Sea states, across Ukraine and through into the Balkans and Poland all suffering from varying degrees of dryness and heat stress. Spain too, typically a large importer of UK wheat, is also expected to harvest a sharply reduced crop in 2009.

Winter wheat in the US has had far from ideal growing conditions, and spring wheat planting is severely behind schedule, as is winter wheat planting just getting underway in Argentina.

As you can see there are plenty of question marks hanging over large swathes of some pretty major wheat producing nations, with the "comfort zone" of a GBP10/tonne premium going in from old crop to new the only incentives to sell are the need for cash or lack of storage.

Three cargoes of Russian wheat have now been impounded by the Egyptian authorities as potentially unfit for human consumption, according to media reports. This may encourage some importing nations to look elsewhere for wheat over the next couple of months.