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Evening markets: EU wheat sidesteps US blast

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Global trade in crops marched to Washington's tune on Friday, after the release US Department of Agriculture's latest crop supply and demand report.

And much of it made better reading sat abroad that in Chicago.

Non-US wheat producers could draw some comfort from a reviving dollar after the USDA talked of rising global production, and increasing competition in export markets. A rising dollar makes US exports less competitive against those from, say, Europe.

Indeed, America is going to be left with a stack of unsold grain in 2009-10, with stocks rocketing 32% to 23.5m tonnes.

Exchange rate factor

So in Paris, a weaker euro helped wheat prices overcome much of their disappointment to end down E1.00 at E125.25 a tonne, E1.25 above their day low. The euro slipped 0.6% to $1.4698, down more than 1 cent in a day.

London wheat, which fell back below a ton a tonne at one point, ended flat at £101.00 a tonne, helped by a 0.7% drop in sterling to $1.5691.

"The exchange rate has kept UK wheat competitive," Hugh Schryver, at Glencore, said.

Rape, meanwhile, could draw from the positives in the USDA's soybean data, which raised forecasts for US production, but not by as much as the market had expected.

Paris rapeseed for November ended up E1.25 at E261.25 a tonne, taking its gains over the last four days to a respectable E6.50.


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