French soft wheat exports to other countries within the
European Union will hit the highest in 11 years, FranceAgriMer said, after a
strong start to 2017-18 for shipments, particularly to the low countries and Spain.
FranceAgriMer, the official French crop bureau, lifted by 202,000
tonnes to 18.36m tonnes its forecast for the country's soft wheat exports in
The upgrade took nearly to 7m tonnes the expected rebound in
French exports from levels last season which fell to a multi-year low, undermined
by a rain-hit harvest.
And it reflected higher hopes for shipments to other EU
countries, which were pegged at 8.05m tonnes, a result which would be the
highest since 2006-07.
The upgrade follows a rapid start to the season for France's
shipments to other EU countries, which volumes up 63%, at a total of 1.31m tonnes,
for July and August.
Shipments to the Netherlands, to where cargos are often transferred
to other destinations, more than doubled, to 323,868 tonnes, with those to neighbouring
Belgium up 50% at 360,859 tonnes.
Spain, a large grain importer to meet feed demands of its livestock
industry, was the third largest destination of French soft wheat, at 243,328 tonnes.
By contrast, soft wheat exports by France, the EU's top
shipper of the grain, outside the bloc were just 4% higher at 1.24m tonnes over
the July-to-August period.
The increased export forecast prompted FranceAgriMer to trim
by 200,000 tonnes, to 3.18m tonnes, from 3.41m tonnes, its forecast for domestic
soft wheat stocks at the close of 2017-18.
That reduced to 8.0% the expected rebuild in inventories this
season, and dashed expectations of stocks hitting a multi-year high, with the
downgrade taking the forecast below the 3.34m tonnes recorded at the close of