Supply Chain

France Ups Non-EU Wheat Export Forecast, Stocks Outlook Steady

By Dayeeta Das
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Farm office FranceAgriMer has increased its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season, citing brisk demand led by Morocco and China.

Soft wheat shipments to non-EU destinations are now seen at 10.30 million tonnes in the 2022/23 July-June season against 10.00 million projected last month.

The revised forecast is 17% above last season's volume and a new three-year high.

Traders have been anticipating an acceleration in French shipments after recent demand from China, which is swelling loading schedules.

The expected wave of shipments to China will add to strong activity already this season, with non-EU shipments of just over six million tonnes in July-November including some 1.6 million tonnes to Morocco, Paul Le Bideau, deputy head of FranceAgriMer's grains unit, told reporters.

However, FranceAgriMer kept almost unchanged its projection for French soft wheat stocks at the end of the season at 2.55 million tonnes, as it trimmed expected demand in other areas.

Outlook

The office cut its forecast for 2022/23 French soft wheat exports within the EU to 6.73 million tonnes from 6.94 million, and lowered expected feed use to 4.3 million tonnes from 4.4 million.

It also made smaller cuts to forecast domestic demand from milling and other industrial users to factor in possible production slowdowns in response to energy costs.

The reduction of soft wheat use in feed reflected both weaker overall demand from the livestock sector, notably due to bird flu outbreaks, and price competition between cereals, Le Bideau said.

The office lowered its projection for barley use in feed by 150,000 tonne but made smaller upward revisions to feed demand for maize as well as triticale.

Expected 2022/23 barley stocks were revised up slightly to 1.85 million tonnes, as the cut to feed use was outweighed by a 100,000 tonne rise in projected non-EU exports.

For maize, FranceAgriMer raised its ending stocks forecast to 2.23 million tonnes, from 2.04 million projected last month, as a 150,000 tonne upward revision to imports outweighed a 50,000 tonne rise in expected feed demand.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest supply chain news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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