European wheat futures were little changed on Tuesday as traders readied for closely watched U.S. government crop forecasts later in the session.
Benchmark Paris futures remained near contract lows, weighed down by large supplies but underpinned by brisk export demand for European Union wheat.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issues its monthly world supply-and-demand estimates at 1600 GMT.
The May report will include the USDA’s first full outlook for the upcoming 2016/17 season, and might also bring revisions to 2015/16 South American crops after poor weather.
“People are really waiting for the USDA report,” one futures dealer said. “We might get some surprises from USDA after the weather problems with Brazilian corn and Argentine soybeans.”
September milling wheat on Paris-based Euronext was up 0.25 euro or 0.2 percent at 159.75 euros a tonne by 1348 GMT.
May, the last remaining delivery month for the 2015 harvest, was down 0.25 euro at 146.50 euros a tonne before its expiry at the end of the session.
Brisk export activity, including French wheat shipments to drought-affected Morocco, kept a floor under prices.
Morocco’s agriculture ministry on Tuesday estimated the country’s cereal crop at 3.35 million tonnes, down 70 percent from last season’s record 11 million tonnes, after the worst drought in 30 years.
Export demand and a lack of farmer selling supported German cash premiums.
Standard wheat with 12 percent protein content for May delivery was offered for sale at 8 euros under the Paris December contract, against 9.75 euros under on Monday. Buyers were seeking 7 euros under Paris.
Iranian private buyers have in past weeks purchased at least 60,000 tonnes of wheat from Germany, traders said.
In Poland, port prices rose in the last week on strong exporter demand but restrained buying by mills meant internal market prices were generally flat.
Exporter purchase offers for 12.5 percent protein wheat rose by around 15 zlotys a tonne to 680 zlotys (153.6 euros) for May-June delivery to port silos, with sellers seeking 685 zlotys.
“We expect that at least two consignments of 60,000 tonnes each in the last Saudi Arabian purchase tender will be delivered from Poland in July and August but still from old-crop wheat supplies,” one Polish trader said.
“One vessel with 33,000 tonnes of Polish wheat left Gdynia last week for the port of El Dekheila in Egypt and another ship with 68,000 tonnes left for Port Said.”
Flour mills were offering to pay 620-650 zlotys a tonne for May delivery, for 12.5 percent protein wheat, unchanged on the week.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz in Paris and Michael Hogan in Hamburg; Editing by Dale Hudson)