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FranceAgriMer Cuts Soft Wheat Stocks Forecast For 2021/22

Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday lowered its forecast of French soft wheat stocks by the end of the 2021/22 season due to a cut in the crop estimate, but kept its forecast of exports outside the European Union unchanged.

Soft wheat stocks at the end of next June in France, the European Union’s largest grain producer and exporter, were expected at 2.4 million tonnes, down from 2.9 million projected last month, FranceAgriMer said.

French soft wheat exports outside the European Union in the 2021/22 season were still expected at 9.6 million tonnes, up nearly 30% on last season.

France harvested a poor crop last year that significantly cut its 2020/21 export availabilities.

Non-EU exports in 2021/22 were, however, running behind 2019/2020 and 2018/2019 three months into the season, but could pick up in the second half, notably to Egypt, if Russia were to curb exports, Marc Zribi, head of FranceAgriMer’s crop unit, told reporters.

FranceAgriMer incorporated in its supply and demand outlook the latest soft wheat production estimate from the farm ministry, which on Tuesday cuts its view to 35.2 million tonnes from 36.1 million last month. The crop was still 21% above last season’s poor harvest.

In other grains, the office cuts its forecast for French barley ending stocks to 1.31 million tonnes from 1.36 million as a cut in the production estimate was partly offset by lower exports outside the EU.

FranceAgriMer did not give a 2021/22 supply and demand outlook for maize, saying the slow-moving harvest was likely to be revised upward and show better yields than currently estimated.

The maize harvest started late this year. One needed to go back to 2014 to see such a late harvest, Catherine Cauchard, head of FranceAgriMer’s crop monitoring service, said.

Projected maize stocks at the end of last season were kept unchanged at 1.80 million tonnes.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Forrest Crellin, Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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