France's 2020/21 wheat exports at four-year low after slow June

By Forrest Crellin

PARIS, July 13 (Reuters) – French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union finished the 2020/21 season with the lowest monthly volume in at least a decade, while overall 2020/21 exports hit a four-year low, Refinitiv data showed.

Soft wheat exports by sea to destinations outside the EU and Britain totalled 122,000 tonnes in June, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

That was the smallest volume for any month on record going back to the 2009/10 season, with only five ships carrying French soft wheat over the course of the month.

Last month’s exports took the amount of soft wheat shipped by sea outside the EU and judi slot online murah Britain in the 2020/21 July-June season to 7.03 million tonnes, the lowest annual volume since 2016/17.

Farm office FranceAgriMer has been projecting a four-year low for French soft wheat exports outside the EU in 2020/21, in line with the smallest French harvest in four years last summer.

Export estimates can differ depending on how Britain, which left the EU’s single market midway through the 2020/21 season, is counted and if non-maritime trade with Switzerland is included.

French soft wheat exports to Britain and Switzerland are expected at about 100,000 tonnes each for 2020/21.

FranceAgriMer on Wednesday trimmed its estimate of the 2020/21 volume – including Britain as a non-EU destination – to 7.5 million tonnes.

Only 266 ships left French ports carrying soft wheat to non-EU destinations over the course of the season, the second lowest on record behind the 2015/16 season and well below the 491 ships chartered in 2019/20, the Refinitiv data showed.

Algeria was the largest importer of French soft wheat outside the EU in June, accounting for 59,200 tonnes via two ships.

Ivory Coast was next with 30,400 tonnes.

French barley shipments outside the EU also fell in June, with only one ship carrying 40,700 tonnes of feed barley to China and no malting barley exported outside the EU, the data showed.

Total grain shipments to all destinations from French ports in June – including barley, malting barley, maize, waxy maize and durum wheat – plummeted to 186,800 tonnes, also a record low.

The Refinitiv data can be revised subsequently and may differ from later customs figures due to when ships are counted as leaving France.

(Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Gus Trompiz and Edmund Blair)

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