Chinese buyers return for French wheat, traders say
Importers in China have bought two cargoes of French wheat in the past week for shipment between January and March, adding to large sales this season for lower-protein French crop, European traders said.
The sales, thought to have taken place between late last week and early this week, comprised two panamax cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes each, the traders said.
As with sales to China last summer, the wheat was believed to have protein content in the 10-10.5% range, they said.
While such protein content is below usual levels applied in Europe for flour-making, the crop was understood to be for milling rather than animal feed use, the traders added.
This year’s wheat harvest in France, the European Union’s biggest producer, showed protein content below the average of recent years but better than average levels for other milling quality criteria.
Chinese buyers booked several hundred thousand tonnes of French crop in July and August for shipment before the end of 2022. Port data compiled by Refinitiv shows that about 300,000 tonnes have already been loaded.
As with the previous deals, the new purchase came after a pullback in market prices. Paris-based futures BL2Z2 dropped to their lowest since September in the past week.
China has emerged as a large market for French wheat in recent years and has contributed to a brisk start to France’s 2022/23 export campaign against a backdrop of war disruption to supplies from Ukraine and Russia.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman )