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French Wheat Shipments Outside European Union At Seven-Year High In October

French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union last month reached their highest for an October since the 2014/15 season as shipments to China ramped up following a slow September, Refinitiv data showed.

Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the 27-country bloc totalled 973,300 tonnes in October, the fourth month of the 2021/22 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed.

China was the largest non-EU destination for French soft wheat for the second consecutive month, with an initial estimate of 431,500 tonnes, followed by Algeria with 193,400 tonnes.

A ship carrying 65,000 tonnes of French soft wheat which loaded at Dunkirk in October recently exited the Suez canal headed to an unknown destination. The vessel’s size and its course towards Asia suggested it could be another shipment for China.

French barley exports outside the EU reached 288,100 tonnes, down from the 372,600 tonnes recorded in September, and less than a third of the 909,900 shipped in August.

China again dominated barley flows, with the October shipments including 165,400 tonnes of feed barley and 60,700 tonnes of malting barley for the Asian country. Another 62,000 tonnes of malting barley were shipped to five other destinations.

French loadings are being closely monitored by traders this season given incomplete figures for France in official European Union grain export data due to a technical problem.

France is the EU’s biggest grain exporter.

Farming agency FranceAgriMer this month trimmed its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the EU over the full July-June 2021/22 season to 9.4 million tonnes, but this is still 2 million tonnes above last season’s total.

Total grain shipments to all destinations from French ports in October – including barley, malting barley, maize, waxy maize, malt and durum wheat – were at the highest since the 2014/15 season at 1.61 million tonnes.

The loading data is subject to revision and can differ from monthly customs figures depending on when ships are counted as leaving France.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Forrest Crellin; Editing by Gus Trompiz and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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