Euronext wheat falls in 2019

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PARIS — Euronext wheat closed with an annual decline after a year-end rally only partly offset a price drop linked to a recovery in European production.

March milling wheat, the most active contract on the Paris-based exchange, settled 0.25 euros, or 0.1%, down at 188.75 euros ($212.08) a ton after a shortened session on Tuesday ahead of the New Year holiday.

The contract was consolidating below Monday’s six-month high of 189.75 euros. That peak came after a rally in international wheat markets linked to an initial US-China trade agreement, steady export demand and global harvest concerns.

Over the year, spot futures on Euronext, including the current March contract, showed a 7.1% decline from the 203.25 euro close at the end of 2018.

European Union common wheat production rose 14.5% this year from the drought-hit 2018 harvest, according to the European Commission.

However, a global price rally, brisk export demand and an expected drop in the sown area for next year’s harvest helped the European wheat market recover towards the end of the year.

“We’re seeing good international demand along with a drop in wheat area in France, Germany and Britain, which means there’s no room for a major weather upset,” said Arthur Portier of consultancy Agritel.

The wheat market was also monitoring transport strikes over pension reform in France, which could disrupt a wave of shipments to Morocco.

Rapeseed futures on Euronext ended the year with a sharp gain, reflecting the impact of a 13-year low for EU production and a broad year-end rally in oilseed markets.

February rapeseed on Euronext ended Tuesday’s session 0.3% down at 411.50 euros a ton.

It was consolidating below Monday’s high of 414.75 euros, the highest spot price since the end of April 2017.

Over 2019, spot rapeseed prices rose nearly 13%.

The smaller maize (corn) futures market on Euronext showed a 5.6% annual decline in spot prices, ending the year at 168.50 euros a ton.

Euronext crop futures will resume trading on Thursday after Wednesday’s New Year closure. — Reuters