December 20, 2022


Increased wheat exports from France expected to compensate for Black Sea supply


Traders increased their forecasts for wheat exports from France to non-EU nations this season as grain flows from Black Sea ports remain affected by the war in Ukraine, Hellenic Shipping News reported.


This year, France exported twice as much wheat as it did in 2021. It is expected to export 10 million metric tonnes of wheat this season, with 7.5 million metric tonnes by the end of December. Sources said shipments will surpass last year's 3.7 million metric tonnes by the end of December 2021, with total exports for last season at 7.5 million metric tonnes.


One trader said France has never had to export so much of their available wheat, as the Black Sea typically produces sufficient supply.


Data from the EU Crop Observatory showed France will export 7 million metric tonnes of EU wheat in the marketing year 2022/23. The largest importers of EU wheat are Morocco (2.1 million metric tonnes), Algeria (2 million metric tonnes), and Egypt (1.6 million metric tonnes). EU wheat exports reached 16 million metric tonnes as of December 12, up 5.7% year-on-year.


The trader said French farmers have been making up for the lack of exports out of Russia and Ukraine, which are inadequate compared to what they normally export.


As the war, which started in February when Russia invaded Ukraine, disrupted port logistics and affected trade flows. Traders predicted that Ukraine's wheat exports will likely remain low this year.


Data released by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine showed the country's wheat exports fell 52.1% to 7.3 million metric tonnes in the marketing year 2022/23.


Traders predicted Russia would export up to 5 million metric tonnes of wheat in December, but they have since revised their projections downward, and Igor Pavensky, head of analysis at consultancy Rusagrotrans, said it is more likely to be around 4 million metric tonnes.


The Black Sea winter season is expected to cause more turbulence in terms of the weather. The Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine said the majority of county's regions experienced cool, wet weather with rain and snow in early December, which aided in the development of diseases and pests on some regions' winter crops. Additionally, the Joint Coordination Center reported on December 15 that due to the bad weather, inspection of some vessels at the grain corridor could not be completed.


Another source stated that since January and February are the worst months for weather and logistics away from the Black Sea, they are expecting France to start competing for more exports.


-        Hellenic Shipping News

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