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Evening markets: EU import concession deals wheat extra blow

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Any hopes that bearish forces would, like US markets, take a holiday for Thanksgiving were silenced by Italy, as the yield on its 10-year bonds rose back above the 7% alarm level.

With that the


revived, albeit remaining marginally in negative territory, and equities faded.



finished down 0.2%, and Frankfurt shares down 0.5%.

Against that background, it was hard for riskier assets to rally, and few managed,


and Brent crude, up 0.7% at $107.79 a barrel in late deals, being among them.

'Remain pressured'

In the agricultural commodities space, London


managed to see off the downward forces, edging higher for second-session from three-year lows to end up 0.2% at £1,518 a tonne for December delivery, and up 0.3% at £1,545 a tonne for the better-traded March contract.

Not that this necessarily represented reason to expect prices to continue to recover.

"We foresee cocoa prices to remain pressured from ample global supplies and harvest pressure, with some short sessions of bargain hunting at current price lows," Lynette Tan at Phillip Futures said.

'No favours to sentiment'

But for other contracts, selling prevailed - especially in grains after the European Union extended until June next year the suspension of import duties on nearly 1.2m tonnes of feed


(of E12 a tonne) and barley (E16 a tonne) bought into the bloc.

"Although this wheat is highly unlikely to come to the UK it will price into markets that UK wheat had been exporting to such as Spain and Portugal," the UK grain arm at a commodities giant said.

"Today this would undercut UK sourced wheat by in excess of £5 a tonne which in itself is not a lot. What it will do, is the sentiment of the market no favours when you have to look long and hard for a bullish story."

Indeed the news more than wiped out support from some not bad EU wheat export data, of 352,000 tonnes, up nearly 50% week on week.

'Price falls exaggerated'

And this when there was yet more support for the idea that grain prices may have fallen enough, this time from Commerzbank.

The tumbles in farm commodity prices in recent weeks were "exaggerated given the tight supply situation, especially for corn and soybeans.

"Demand for food and feedstuffs should prove largely immune to the overall economic situation. In our opinion, the current price levels thus offer good hedging opportunities."

London feed wheat for May, the best-traded lot, closed down 0.7% at £143.00 a tonne, the contract's lowest finish since October last year.

Paris milling wheat for January edge lower to E178.75 a tonne, only a 0.1% fall, but enough to register a fresh 16-month closing low for a spot contract.

Oils slip


dropped too, down 0.8% to a three-month low of E410.50 a tonne for Paris's February contract, depressed by further weakness in the oilseeds sector elsewhere.

Palm oil

tumbled 1.7% to 3,108 ringgit a tonne in Kuala Lumpur.

Also, as noted on Wednesday, there are growing fears for financial health of Europe's biodiesel plants, which use most of the crop.

The region has already seen the (prolonged) shutdown of its biggest wheat ethanol plant, the UK Ensus site.


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