Tuesday, 25 May, 1999
ALGERIAS wheat purchase on Thursday continued to favour French wheat because of competitive French prices, despite German and Argentine product also attracting interest. The total now bought by Algeria amounts to 125,000 tonnes over the last two weeks. French prices, however, showed little reaction.
GERMAN grain marketings of bread wheat and feed barley were reported as non-existent, particularly in the north of the country. Intervention activity for most grains also slowed, except for malting barley, which helped to ease the market.
SPANISH maize prices firmed following the suspension of the EU reduced-levy maize tender last week, following on from the quiet of the previous week. Other EU maize prices closely followed the Spanish market.
A DISAPPOINTING Portuguese wheat harvest is expected again this year, due to poor spring weather. Yields, however, are said to have improved and, together with an increase in area, the coming harvest is expected to be above last years crop, which was the lowest seen this century.
SPAIN and Portugal are expected to raise their imports of feed and milling wheat over the summer because of the recent drought problems. This could provide France and the UK with export opportunities, although this will depend on prices in July and August.
ZMP, the German market reporting agency, reported March plantings higher than expected. Tight seed availability, which had been recorded back in March, suggested plantings would consequently be restricted. However, the March estimate has shown the area sown to spring barley is 28% higher.
Taken from HGCA weekly MI Bulletin
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