• Bearish supply-and-demand sentiment, encouraged by expectations that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will raise its supply outlook in its estimates later on Friday, fuelled a sell-off in wheat and maize markets this week, with the breaking of chart support levels adding to selling momentum.
  • The USDA is due to publish at 1700 GMT monthly global supply-and-demand forecasts along with U.S. production and stocks updates and estimates of U.S. winter wheat sowing.
  • March milling wheat, the most traded contract on the benchmark Paris Euronext market, was down 0.25 euro or 0.1 percent at 196.50 euros a tonne at 1442 GMT.
  • It earlier touched 195.75 euros, a level last seen on the contract on Oct. 8.
  • The pullback in Paris had generated technical pressure as the March contract broke a major support floor around 201 euros and then a next support at 198 euros.
  • “The contract confirmed the break of the 201 euro technical support,” Arnaud Saulais of SCB Commodity Brokers said in a note.
  • “It is unusual to see such a move before a USDA report and we need to see (bearish) numbers in order to pressure the market further,” he added.
  • In Chicago, wheat also inched down on Friday to languish new a two-year low.
  • The selling pressure this week has outweighed continued brisk European exports.
  • The European Union on Thursday reported 719,000 tonnes of soft wheat export licences for this week, adding to the almost 1 million tonnes awarded for the two weeks to Dec. 31.
  • The latest awards brought the total volume so far in 2013/14 to 15.1 million, nearly 50 percent up on the year-earlier level and on track to bring record full-year soft wheat exports for the EU.
  • In Germany, a hefty wheat loading programme in German ports in January was reinforcing export optimism.
  • “About 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes of wheat is set to be shipped from Germany in January to destinations including Saudi Arabia and Morocco,” one trader said. “This is a large programme and is supportive.”
  • German wheat premiums were stable, with busy exports underpinning prices in thin trade ahead of the USDA reports.Standard milling wheat for January delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale unchanged at 4 euros over the Paris March contract with buyers seeking 3 euros over.

Prices as of 1442 GMT




 Pct move

Paris wheat

196.50 -0.25 -0.13

Paris maize

171.00 0.00 +0.00

Paris rape

359.00 1.00 +0.28

 CBOT wheat

584.75 0.50 +0.09

CBOT corn

419.50 7.50 +1.82

CBOT soy

1279.00 5.25 +0.41

WTI crude oil

92.62 0.96 +1.05


Euro/Dlr = 1.36 

CBOT futures prices are in cents per bushel, Paris futures in euros per tonne, WTI crude oil in dollars per barrel.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sybille de La Hamaide in Paris, and Michael Hogan in Hamburg

Editing by David Evans

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