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EU wheat extends rally as French harvest worries grow

PARIS - Euronext wheat futures rose on Monday to their highest in almost two weeks, in a continuing rebound from contract lows and amid growing expectations of weather-hit yields and quality in the French arvest.

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PARIS - Euronext wheat futures rose on Monday to their highest in almost two weeks, in a continuing rebound from contract lows and amid growing expectations of weather-hit yields and quality in the French arvest.

Benchmark December milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 1.00 euro, or 0.6 percent, at 164.25 euros a metric ton by 1547 GMT.

It earlier reached its highest since June 28 at 166.00 euros before giving up some of its gains as Chicago wheat and corn futures turned lower during U.S. trading.

The French harvest was underpinning Euronext as traders anticipated tighter supply of milling-grade wheat after a rain-drenched spring.

The condition of wheat crops in France worsened again last week just as harvesting was getting under way, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday.

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"France appears to have been the country in Europe most affected by weather conditions," consultancy Agritel said in a note to clients. "Everything is pointing to disappointing wheat yields, in keeping with the winter barley harvest."

Crop watchers are also concerned that wheat will show weak test weights, a measure of quality, after low readings for barley.

Wheat harvesting is now advancing along the west coast. Brokers reported lower yields, reasonable protein level and some test weights on the low side.

The prospect of a smaller crop in the region was pushing up cash premiums at the Atlantic port of La Pallice.

German cash market premiums in Hamburg were cut to compensate for Friday's rise in Paris.

Standard wheat with 12 percent protein content for September delivery was offered for sale at 2.5 euros over the Paris December contract against 2.75 to 3 euros on Friday. Buyers were seeking 1 to 2 euros over Paris.

Premiums for higher protein grades remained well above standard wheat because of fears about rain damage to the European Union harvest, with the 13 percent protein content A grade offered for sale at around 8 euros over Paris for September delivery.

"Showers continue in Germany and are forecast for most of this week which is not positive for wheat quality, especially protein content," one German trader said.

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"But overall I think a reasonable German harvest will still be gathered which will also be decent in volume terms."

Related Topics: CROPSWHEAT
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