Milling Wheat Slides to Four-Year Low in Paris on Rising Supply

Aug 01, 2014 8:23 am ET

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Milling wheat extended a decline to a four-year low in Paris on prospects for rising harvests in Europe and the Black Sea region even as excess rainfall raised concern in some areas about crop quality. Wheat rose in Chicago on signs of increasing demand for U.S. exports.

The soft wheat harvest in the European Union may be about 143 million metric tons, 5.1 percent more than the previous year, ADM Germany GmbH said yesterday. The harvest in France, the top EU grower, accelerated last week, with 76 percent of soft wheat crops collected in the main growing areas as of July 28, even as conditions deteriorated from the prior week, FranceAgriMer said today.

“The yields are reported to be good, generally speaking, across Europe, but the main issue now is about the quality,” said Benjamin Bodart, a Bartlow, England-based managing director at ODA U.K., a unit of French farm adviser Offre et Demande Agricole. “It’s difficult to put a figure on where the market will stop dropping because we’re going to see an oversupply of wheat and also this huge crop of U.S. corn.”

Milling wheat for November delivery fell 1.3 percent to 168.25 euros ($225.46) a ton at 2:03 p.m. on Euronext in Paris, after touching 167 euros earlier, the lowest since July 2010. Prices declined 8.2 percent in July, a third monthly loss.

Russian Harvest

Global stockpiles of grain may rise to a 15-year high by the end of the 2014-15 season, the London-based International Grains Council said yesterday, boosting its forecast for world wheat production by 0.4 percent to 702 million tons. Private forecasters including UkrAgroConsult and ProZerno have raised estimates this week for crops in Ukraine and Russia, two countries that compete with the EU for export business in North Africa and the Middle East.

Wheat for September delivery rose 0.8 percent to $5.3475 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Prices were still set for a 0.6 percent weekly decline and fell to $5.185 on July 29, the lowest since July 2010. U.S. export sales were 801,007 tons in the week-ended July 24, up 81 percent from a week earlier, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday.

Corn for December delivery fell 0.5 percent to $3.65 a bushel in Chicago. Prices are set to drop for a sixth week, the longest such decline since July 2011. Soybeans for delivery in November fell 0.9 percent to $10.72 a bushel, heading for a second weekly loss. The U.S., the top grower of both crops, may see rainfall in the Midwest in the next seven days, improving prospects for maturing plants, according to QT Weather.

--With assistance from Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne.