French wheat, barley exports outside EU drops in September

19 October 20212 min reading

Wheat and barley exports from France experienced a sharp drop in September. China was the top buyer for both commodities.

French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union dropped in September following a strong August, Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the 27-country bloc totalled 695,400 tonnes in September, the third month of the 2021/22 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

China was the largest non-EU destination for French soft wheat last month, with an initial estimate of 185,200 tonnes, followed closely by Algeria with 184,000 tonnes. Wheat exports to China are set to accelerate further in October, scheduled loadings suggest. Algeria had led French wheat shipments in August, partly due to a backlog from July when loadings were delayed by a rain-disrupted French harvest.

French barley exports outside the EU reached 372,600 tonnes last month, down sharply from the 909,900 recorded in August, with China again dominating flows. The September shipments included 225,500 tonnes of feed barley and 105,300 tonnes of malting barley for China. Another 5,800 tonnes of feed barley was sent to Morocco and 36,000 tonnes of malting barley shipped to three other destinations.

French soft wheat exports outside the EU over the full July-June 2021/22 season are expected to be 2 million tonnes higher than last season at 9.6 million tonnes, according to farming agency FranceAgriMer. For sea exports within the EU, soft wheat shipments last month were 131,100 tonnes, while all-grain shipments totalled 222,400 tonnes.

Most French grain exported inside the EU is transported via non-maritime routes. Total grain shipments to all destinations from French ports in September - including barley, malting barley, maize, waxy maize, malt and durum wheat - were at the highest since the 2015/16 season at 1.31 million tonnes. The loading data is subject to revision and can differ from monthly customs figures depending on when ships are counted as leaving France.

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