(Updates prices) (Adds Italian market)
HAMBURG, May 30 (Reuters) - European benchmark milling wheat futures fell on Wednesday following weaker U.S. markets, further depressed by reports of rain in dry southern Russia and the U.S. Midwest this week.
* U.S. grains fell sharply on Wednesday as a surging dollar and mounting concerns over Europe’s debt crisis triggered a broad commodities sell-off.
* EU markets shrugged off an export-boosting fall in the euro. “It’s really the weather that is leading the fall,” one trader said.
* By 1610 GMT Europe’s benchmark wheat, the Paris November contract, was down 0.3 percent or 0.75 euros at 210.75 euros a tonne after touching 209.00 euros in earlier Wednesday trade.
* The latest weather news from Russia was a depressing factor for prices.
* Rain fell overnight in key southern agricultural regions of Russia, with further rainfall expected in the coming days after a dry spell in some regions, the state weather forecaster said.
* The head of Russia’s Grain Union said the country can keep up the pace of grain exports in the coming crop year, as damage from a drought was not enough to dent the surplus significantly and carryover stocks were plentiful.
* Paris November wheat is testing the 210 euros support level, dealers said. The next support for the November contract is put at 205-207 euros a tonne.
* Dealers also stressed a sharp and rare price gap between wheat and maize futures <0#EMA:>, with Paris November wheat almost 20 euros higher than Paris November maize.
* The market may be heading towards low wheat demand from feed makers at the start of the season, with lower prices transferring more demand to maize, one broker said.
* Traders also noted interest for old crop wheat supplies in Dunkirk, with the awaited loading of two cargoes for Algeria which could be a switch from deals initially planned for Argentine wheat. In La Pallice port data showed a new shipment for Libya, the first since early November.
* German prices retained a premium over Paris, partly helped by German feed wheat once more quoted way above bread-quality wheat, but with lower Paris prices weakening sentiment.
* Standard milling wheat for September delivery in Hamburg was offered for sale down 0.5 euros at 217.00 euros a tonne with buyers at 215 euros.
* Feed wheat for nearby delivery in the South Oldenburg animal feed grains market near the Netherlands was again quoted over milling wheat, up one euro at 233 euros a tonne for nearby delivery with buyers at around 231 euros.
* “Feed wheat prices remain strong which continues to drag milling wheat into the feed trough,” one trader said. “Some feed makers appear to have misjudged the market and failed to make advanced purchases.”
* “This means some feed makers are obliged to come into the market each day as buyers which is keeping feed wheat prices well supported even if traded volumes are sometimes modest.”
* “New crop wheat demand from mills is pretty low as some are waiting to see how the German harvest turns out.”
* Germany’s 2012 wheat crop is likely to fall to around 21.4 million tonnes from 22.7 million tonnes last year, Germany’s leading grain trading house Toepfer International said on Thursday.
* Wheat prices in Italy, a major European importer of the grain, were flat on the week in thin trade.
* Italy’s market is struggling to find a balance between sluggish demand and modest supplies of local wheat only a few weeks ahead of harvesting, traders said.
* “The market is very quite, not much is going on,” one Italian trader said. “A lot of people have financing problems and cannot make purchases.” (Reporting by Michael Hogan, Valerie Parent and Svetlana Kovalyova; Editing by Anthony Barker)