Paris Wheat Spread Narrows as EU Exports Increase on Low Prices

May 18, 2016 10:54 AM
Paris Wheat Spread Narrows as EU Exports Increase on Low Prices

Better-than-expected wheat exports from the European Union is helping shrink the spread between futures contracts in Paris.

The price gap between the September and December milling wheat contracts have narrowed more than 30 percent since reaching a low earlier this month, a sign that supplies may be smaller than previously forecast. France, the EU’s biggest wheat producer, will export 19.37 million metric tons of wheat in 2015-16 season, 3.7 percent more than an earlier forecast, according to crops office FranceAgrimer.

"Exporters remain optimistic regarding French export prospects for the end of this 2015-16 harvest," Arnaud Saulais, a broker at Starsupply Commodity Brokers in Nyon, Switzerland, said in an e-mailed report. "On the selling side, farmers are currently out of the market due to fieldworks and as new crop prices are not deemed as high enough."

Paris wheat for September delivery was 5 euros ($5.63) a metric ton cheaper than the next futures contract on Euronext. That compares with 6.50 euros a week ago and a record discount of 7.50 euros on May 3.

EU wheat exports are accelerating as low prices boost demand. The European Commission issued licenses to ship 26.6 million tons of wheat, 5 percent below last season, according to data from the bloc’s regulatory arm compiled by Bloomberg. Two months ago, exports were lagging by 9.1 percent.

High Demand

"It is above all, the high demand for EU wheat that is driving up the price," Commerzbank AG said in an e-mailed report. "Numerous ships are waiting to be loaded in French ports so as to embark on their journeys to North Africa, Thailand and South Korea," the bank said, citing reports from Reuters.

Milling wheat for December delivery, the most widely held contract, fell 0.2 percent to 169.25 euros a ton on Euronext as of 11:28 a.m. in London after rising 0.6 percent yesterday. In Chicago, futures for July declined 0.7 percent to $4.785 a bushel.

U.S. prices had climbed in previous days as excessive rainfall led to concerns about the quality of wheat soon to be harvested, Commerzbank said.

In other markets:

  • Corn for July delivery slid 0.4 percent to $3.9525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for the same month slid 0.9 percent to $10.71 a bushel.
  • Soymeal for July declined 0.2 percent to $368.30 per 2,000 pounds after touching a 17-month high.
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