June 10, 2020 / 10:01 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-FranceAgriMer raises non-EU soft wheat export forecast again

(Adds FranceAgriMer’s comments on estimate changes)

PARIS, June 10 (Reuters) - Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday increased its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union to a record amount as brisk shipments continued in the latter stages of the season.

In a monthly supply and demand outlook for cereals, the office raised its estimate of soft wheat exports outside the EU in the 2019/20 season that ends on June 30 to 13.45 million tonnes from 13.3 million seen last month.

That would mark a record volume and be 39% above 2018/19 exports, FranceAgriMer’s data showed.

The office has now increased its non-EU export outlook for soft wheat for nine months in a row since giving an initial projection of 11 million tonnes last September.

French exports have been boosted this season by supplies from a bumper 2019 harvest, reduced competition from top wheat exporter Russia, and strong demand from countries like China.

In addition to an ongoing flow of shipments to China, the latest upward revision reflected some late-season cargoes for Yemen and Tunisia, FranceAgriMer said.

The raised non-EU export outlook outweighed a 100,000 tonne cut to expected livestock feed demand and contributed to FranceAgriMer lowering its forecast for soft wheat stocks at the end of 2019/20 to 2.8 million tonnes from 2.9 million.

Domestic milling demand was raised slightly from last month as the easing of a French lockdown to curb a coronavirus epidemic led the office to see a smaller hit to demand than initially thought, it said.

For barley, the office cut its estimate of end-of-season stocks to 1.7 million tonnes from 1.85 million tonnes, as it raised non-EU and intra-EU exports.

For barley malt, projected exports were cut by 80,000 tonnes due to disruption to beer demand linked to the coronavirus.

Domestic barley use for malt was raised but FranceAgriMer cautioned that this processed malt may not have found an outlet.

Forecast maize stocks were trimmed to 2.1 million tonnes from 2.2 million tonnes, reflecting increased feed demand. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Mark Potter and Elaine Hardcastle)

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