September 15, 2014
Excessive rain in France has led to the degrading quality of the country's wheat crops during summer.
The situation forces local farmers to seek for supply from Germany, said Kalus Lutz, the chief executive of German agricultural merchant, BayWa AG. In what is described as a "rare move", the company has sent about 100,000 tonnes of milling wheat to French mills for the past eight weeks.
Some of France's key wheat-growing areas are affected this summer, with sections of harvest in unacceptable conditions for making bread, France's agricultural agency France AgriMer said.
During 2014 – 2015, local milling wheat exports are expected to drop to eight million tonnes from 12.2 million tonnes in 2013.
Imported German wheat could be used to fulfill export orders from French trading houses as well. France's key export markets include Algeria and Egypt, the former of which is also facing supply problem of its own.
Algeria's domestic grains production is forecast to fall by 38% in the 2014 – 2015 crop year after crops were damaged by a drought, according to the USDA.
In Egypt, the world's top importer of wheat, 2014's grain imports are forecast to reach 18.2 million tonnes, up 5% from 2013, according to UN data.
As France's current main supplier of wheat, Germany is expected to produce 26 million tonnes of the crop, based on forecasts from BayWa. The figure compares with a lower 24 million tonnes during the 2013 - 2014 crop year.