Wheat futures staged a late revival to close back above $6.00
a bushel in Chicago after Egypt, the top importer of the grain, unveiled its
biggest order since at least 2010, taking the day's total world orders above 1m
Egypt's Gasc grain authority revealed orders totalling
535,000 tonnes of wheat from France, Romania, Russia and Ukraine for an average
of about $317 a tonne, on a cost and freight basis.
The purchase was the biggest since at least 2010, topping a 475,000-tonne order in September 2012, and a 420,000-tonne purchase of Russian wheat a year before.
And it too above 3.5m tonnes Gasc's purchases at tender in
2013-14, which have now exceeded $1.0bn in value.
With Algeria purchasing 500,000-550,000 tonnes of milling wheat
for $314-315 a tonne, including cost and freight, the day's deal tally topped
1m tonnes from these importers alone.
The Gasc announcement came too late to prevent Paris wheat
for March from easing 0.1% to close at E202.25 a tonne even though much of the
purchase – 180,000 tonnes – was of French origin.
However, in Chicago, soft red winter wheat futures for March,
which had posted small gains before the Gasc announcement, up 1.6% to $6.06 ¾ a
bushel in late deals.
Hard red winter wheat for March was 1.9% higher at $6.43 ½ a
In fact, US hard red winter wheat was the cheapest offered
to Gasc excluding freight, as low as $273.14 a tonne by Louis Dreyfus, but excluded
by the extra cost of shipping to Egypt across the Atlantic.
The cheapest bid including freight was of $315.83 a tonne,
for Romanian wheat, with Russian and Ukrainian grain offered as low as $316 a