April 12, 2018
West Europe's demand spurs wheat buying
The acquisition of wheat is being driven by demand from western Europe's consumers, thus alleviating a challenging season in which EU sellers are losing market share to Russia, AgriCensus reported.
The rise in feed demand happened just as the EU dairy sector had deregulated while milk prices increased. Farmers, in light of record butter prices, bought additional feed.
Cold and wet weather in western Europe was also attributed to the push in feed demand. As farmers sheltered their herds, they depend more on compound feeds for animal dietary needs.
EU wheat sales got a boost as the USDA added 2.15 million tonnes to its domestic consumption total in its monthly WASDE report.
Following a year of weak export figures, EU domestic consumption for 2017/18 is forecasted at 130.9 million tonnes, 2% higher than 2017 and 6% above the five-year average.
The USDA's numbers were reflected in an update from French agriculture agency Franceagrimer, which added 405,000 tonnes of intra-EU trade to its total – taking its 2017/18 export forecast to 8.94 million tonnes.
French sales to other EU member states are expected to be higher than at any point over the last five years. These would increase 24% on the five-year average and 43% on 2017's figure.