December 5, 2008

EU wheat falls sharply; follows lower US market


European wheat futures followed US markets lower Thursday (December 4), as choppy currencies provided the basis for trading, with a lack of any other fundamental news.


"At the end of the day there's nothing bullish in the market...apart from currency," said a London-based broker.


Paris March milling wheat ended down EUR6, or 4.6 percent, at EUR124.75 a tonne, with 5,336 lots moved. London January feed wheat closed down GBP2.25, or 2.5 percent, at GBP89/tonne, with 580 lots moved.


Brokers said trade remains quiet in the slowdown before Christmas.


"We've had bits and pieces like Egypt's purchase of Russian and French wheat, but not enough to get anyone excited," said the London-based broker.


The wheat market's outlook remains weak despite agricultural commodity prices looking close to bottoming, said Standard Chartered bank in its December report.


"The market will be externally driven by factors such as the dollar and other grains," in 2009, said the report.


The Bank of England's decision to cut UK interest rates by 100 basis points was as expected and was already built into the market, said the London-based broker.


Standard-quality wheat prices in the French cash market delivered at Rouen were down EUR3 on the day at EUR122/tonne.


Liffe's Paris January corn traded down EUR4.25/tonne, or 3.7 percent, at EUR111.50/tonne, with 440 lots moved. Paris-based February rapeseed traded down EUR9.75, or 3.4 percent, at EUR273/tonne, with 1,517 lots moved.

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