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Pace of European wheat exports falls back
By William Clarke - Published 23/12/2016

EU wheat shipments are tailing off, as the small and low quality harvest starts to reduce availability of wheat for exports.

Cumulative EU common wheat exports as of December 20 stand at 11.90m tonnes, down 0.2% year on year, the first time the pace of cumulative exports has fallen behind last year's pace.

Wet and overcast weather, particularly in top grower France, hit the wheat crop this year.

As well as reducing the size of the crop, the conditions left a large number of undersized grains, below specification for many key importers.

But despite these problems, the pace of exports has held up, until now.

Steadying exports

"With adverse weather earlier in the year hitting output in key producing countries such as France, exports of wheat this season are expected to be down year on year," said Millie Askew, at ADHB.

"However, during the first three months of the season we saw EU common wheat exports saw above the previous two seasons."

"Nonetheless, it would appear that the pace of exports has been steadying off somewhat since mid-October."

Pace of exports reflects tight markets

And Ms Askew pointed out the since the start of the season, about half of the EU Commission's forecast of 24m tonnes for this market year has already been exported.

"At the start of the season, the pace of EU common wheat exports wasn't really reflecting the tight supply and demand situation we find ourselves in this season," Ms Askey said.

"However, with exports to date now below last season's level, it would appear that the pace is now starting to reflect the tighter supply situation the EU is in."

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