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EU wheat lowest in nearly four weeks as mood remains bearish

PARIS - Paris wheat futures extended losses on Monday to hit their lowest in almost four weeks as a bearish export and technical outlook outweighed a weaker euro and projections for a sharp fall in Ukrainian output next year.

PARIS - Paris wheat futures extended losses on Monday to hit their lowest in almost four weeks as a bearish export and technical outlook outweighed a weaker euro and projections for a sharp fall in Ukrainian output next year.

The front-month December milling wheat contract on the Paris-based Euronext futures market was down 1.00 euro, or 0.6 percent, at 176 euros a ton by 1639 GMT.

It had earlier touched 175.25 euros, its lowest since Oct. 21. The contract fell nearly 5 percent last week, its steepest weekly drop since the season started on July 1.

The second-month March contract hit a four-week low of 182.50 euros but trimmed losses to trade unchanged at 183.75.

Trading was also marked by adjustments linked to the expiry of options on the front-month December futures, traders said.

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Chicago wheat futures were lower as a firm dollar underscored weak U.S. exports.

"Bearish factors have come together," consultancy Agritel said, noting lagging exports from western Europe and improved crop weather in Australia and the Black Sea region.

"Despite the likely sale of French wheat in the 550,000 ton purchase by Algeria and a French cargo sold to Egypt, exports remain well off the pace," Agritel said.

The lineup of scheduled loadings at French ports remained unusually light for the period, port data showed.

In a further sign slow exports are causing stocks to build up in France after a record harvest this summer, silo operator Socomac said on Monday it was stopping taking deliveries at Rouen port.

This follows similar moves last week by Senalia and Nord-Cereales and means the three main delivery points for wheat traded on Euronext are now closed for delivery.

The euro fell to near a 6-1/2 month low overnight against the dollar, partly reflecting worries after Friday's attacks in Paris. But the move, which makes western European wheat cheaper for export, failed to buoy Euronext prices.

Traders also played down forecasts predicting a sharp drop in wheat production and exports in Ukraine next season after drought cut autumn sowings.

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Ukrainian wheat exports in 2016/17 could fall to about 3.5 million tons from expected sales of 16.5 million tons in 2015/16, a senior agriculture ministry source said on Monday, quoting traders' forecasts.

But other traders and analysts said it was too early to project next season's supply ahead of the crucial spring period for crop growth

Related Topics: CROPSWHEAT
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