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Evening markets: Harvest worries help London wheat to 19-month high

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US markets may have been closed for the Labor Day holiday.

 

But that didn’t prevent some ags finding influences from elsewhere to set a definite course.

 

For palm oil, that direction was downwards, with the caution which kept early price moves in check giving way to selling which sent the benchmark November contract down 1.1% to 2,804 ringgit a tonne.

 

The decline was attributed to ideas that Malaysian output in August will prove larger than investors had pencilled in, when the Malaysian Palm Oil Board on Thursday unveils monthly supply and demand data.

 

This follows a Malaysian Palm Oil Association report that production last month rose by 3.8% from July to 1.87m tonnes.

 

In Paris, rapeseed for November eased by the minimum E0.25 a tonne to E384.35 a tonne, with the negative influence of palm oil counterbalanced somewhat by an easing euro, and some worries over dryness in France which could curtail ideas of a recovery in sowings of the oilseed.

 

‘Driven by harvest delays’

By contrast, in London, wheat futures for November rose by 0.6% to £170.80 a tonne – the highest finish for a spot contract since January 2019, with the currency market providing a tailwind in making UK exports more affordable.

 

Sterling lost 0.8% against the dollar, amid fresh doubts over the UK leaving the European Union with an agreed trade deal.

 

The weather-beset UK harvest remains a support too, with ADM Agriculture noting that “UK physical prices remain driven by harvest delays in the north and west, where ex-farm and delivered prices continue to firm”.

 

The gap between farms in the south, many of which have finishing harvesting, and those in the north, where it remains severely weather delayed, is adding to the huge array of UK production forecasts, from 8m tonnes to getting on for 11m tonnes that Agrimoney has heard.

 

Paris wheat for December – with less of a currency tailwind, and with the French harvest finished and better quantified – added a more modest 0.1% to E188.50 a tonne.

 

‘Sweeping reversal’

The drop in the pound could not prevent London cocoa futures ending 0.7% lower at £1,783 per tonne for December, undermined expectations of needed moisture for plantations in Cote d’Ivoire, the top producer of the bean.

 

From a technical perspective, ADM Investor Services said that for cocoa markets, which retreated late last week on both sides of the Atlantic after setting multi-month highs “the sweeping reversal from an overbought level is a strong technical signal that a top is in place.

 

“Given the severity of the negative change in global risk sentiment, cocoa may be vulnerable to long liquidation.”

 

Sugar sweetens

However, London white sugar futures for December put in a strong session, adding 1.1% to $358.90 a tonne despite firmness in the greenback – although ending just behind their 200-day moving average, at $358.90 a tonne.

 

The headway was attributed to bargain hunting after the contract set a five-week closing low on Friday.

 

London robusta coffee for November ended down 1.2% at $1,427 per tonne.

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