Paris Wheat Closes Higher Monday

Paris wheat futures closed higher in thin holiday trade Monday with January milling wheat ending up EUR2.50 at EUR131.25/tonne.

Trade was understandably quite with London shut for the Bank Holiday, but Parisian futures managed to edge higher, supported by a firmer US market on the overnight eCBOT market.

A recent cold wave in Europe that spread across Ukraine into Russia produced a light blanket of snow (1-5 centimeters) that now covers most northern hemisphere countries above 45 N latitude, says Gail Martell of Martell Crop Projections.

Winter kill may have occurred in Russian wheat, especially the Volga District, where extremely cold conditions were observed for several days. Snow cover was not sufficient to insulate wheat from bitterly cold weather. The fact that Russia's wheat crop was also affected by drought increases the chances for winter crop damage, she concludes.

It will be some considerable time before we know the extent of any significant damage however.

One early report suggests that the Ukraine wheat harvest for 2010 will total 18.7 MMT, around 2 MMT lower than 2009's production.