AMSTERDAM, March 1 (Reuters) - European wheat futures were flat to lower by late afternoon as U.S. markets edged down following an end-of-month rally that brought fresh highs in Chicago.
* Losses were small as volumes were light and as grains continued to be supported by crop worries and export demand.
* The most active May milling wheat contract in Paris was flat on the day at 208.25 euros a tonne by 1659 GMT.
* "There was an end-of-month surge yesterday on the U.S. market. It's eased back now, and we've followed suit," a French futures dealer said.
* A zone between 206 and 206.75 euros, representing a chart gap formed at Wednesday's opening, was providing technical support for the contract.
* On Wednesday, U.S. soybeans hit a new five-month high, corn a six-week peak and wheat a three-week high, before all crop futures edged down on Thursday.
* The European market has been underpinned by worries about crop damage, with French analysts saying initial signs suggested around 1 million tonnes of winter wheat output could be lost in eastern France after a cold spell a month ago.
* The weather risk hanging over the next crop was encouraging some producers to hold on to supply in the expectation of a price rally, traders said.
* "There is a lot of holding back by producers," a French cash broker said. "They are not letting go of grain because they think the market is going to reach 220 or 230 euros with expectations for a poor harvest next season."
* The European Union cleared 429,000 tonnes of wheat export licences.
* The volume, the biggest weekly haul in nearly four months, came as France is expected to ship a large amount of wheat this month following a wave of recent sales, notably to Algeria.
* The EU also granted import licences for 92,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat under its tariff-rate quota (TRQ) scheme.
* The award follows another for 66,000 tonnes of U.S. wheat import licences earlier this month and comes after traders reported deals to import U.S. wheat into Spain, possibly in a switch from Ukrainian wheat due to winter transport snags.
* Feed wheat futures in London were also lower, tracking losses in both Paris and Chicago, with May off 0.90 pounds or 0.5 percent at 166.50 pounds a tonne.
* Dealers said conditions remained generally favourable for crop development in Britain.
* "Overall the wheat crop is well established with good growth over winter," crop consultants ADAS said in a monthly update issued on Thursday.
* ADAS said a mild winter had encouraged the spread of mildew in most crops although frosts in early February checked the development of the disease.
* The planting of spring barley was underway in Britain with about 5 percent drilled by the end of February, ADAS said.
* Prices as of 1712 GMT
Product Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd Pct Paris wheat 208.25 0.00 +0.00 195.25 6.66 London wheat 166.50 -0.90 -0.54 153.65 8.36 Paris maize 207.25 0.00 +0.00 197.25 5.07 Paris rape 444.25 1.00 +0.23 421.50 5.40 CBOT wheat 667.75 -0.25 -0.04 671.25 -0.52 CBOT corn 654.75 -3.25 -0.49 654.75 0.00 CBOT soybeans 1320.50 0.50 +0.04 1207.75 9.34 Crude oil 107.50 0.43 +0.40 98.83 8.77 Euro/dlr 1.33 0.06 +4.81 1.30 2.77 * All grain and oilseed prices for second position. Paris futures prices in Euros per tonne, London wheat in pounds per tonne and CBOT in cents per bushel. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Marion Douet in Paris, Nigel Hunt in London and Ivana Sekularac in Amsterdam, editing by Jane Baird)