September 13, 2012


France's 2012-13 wheat exports may reach nine million tonnes



Up from 8.4 million tonnes in 2011-12, France should export nine million tonnes of soft wheat outside the EU this 2012-13 season.


In its first official supply/demand balance sheet for 2012-13, FranceAgriMer projected on Wednesday (Sep 12) French soft wheat stocks at the end of the season at 2.36 million tonnes.


This was up slightly from a revised estimate of 2.27 million tonnes for 2011-12, which would be an eight-year low for French wheat stocks.


A larger wheat harvest this year, which FranceAgriMer puts at 6% above 2011 output at 36.1 million tonnes despite cutting its crop estimate on Tuesday (Sep 11), has boosted wheat supply in France.


Traders also expect French wheat to enjoy healthy export demand as supply from Black Sea exporters led by Russia runs low after drought-affected harvests, as suggested by a first French sale of the season to Egypt on Tuesday (Sep 11).


French wheat shipments within the 27-country EU should also rise in 2012-13 to reach 7.9 million tonnes against 7.5 million last season, the FranceAgriMer data showed.


In contrast, overall domestic consumption of soft wheat was projected to fall slightly to 15.5 million tonnes from 15.8 million in 2011-12.


In a preliminary outlook given in June prior to the wheat harvest, FranceAgriMer had tentatively forecast 2012-13 wheat exports outside the EU at 8.7 million tonnes and ending stocks at 2.4 million tonnes.


In other grains, FranceAgriMer forecast barley ending stocks would rise even as exports grow sharply, supported by a jump in this year's harvest.


Ending stocks should reach 1.38 million tonnes this season against 963,000 tonnes in 2011-12, the office forecast. In exports, barley shipments outside the EU were forecast to rise to 1.3 million tonnes from 788,000 tonnes last season, while intra-EU volumes were put at 4.2 million tonnes against 3.5 million in 2011-12.


On Tuesday (Sep 11), the office had estimated the 2012 barley crop at 30% above last year's level.


In corn, ending stocks would fall to 2.36 million tonnes from 2.46 million in 2011-12, FranceAgriMer said. Exports within the EU would rise to 6.6 million tonnes from 6.3 million last season but volumes outside the bloc would fall to 300,000 tonnes from 418,000 tonnes.


The office currently sees this year's grain corn crop, which is yet to be harvested, at 15.2 million tonnes, down from 15.6 million in 2011.