FranceAgriMer raises 2023/24 soft wheat export forecast outside EU to 10.25m mt

14 Feb 2024 | Sam Balf

France's state-backed farm agency FranceAgriMer has increased its forecast for 2023/24 soft wheat exports outside the European Union (EU) in its monthly outlook published on February 14.

According to the monthly report, FranceAgriMer raised the forecast for commercial exports to countries outside the EU by 150,000 mt to 10.25 million mt, a volume some 100,000 mt above the 10.15 million mt exported in 2022/23.

FranceAgriMer also lowered its forecast for exports to EU member states in 2023/24 to 6.32 million mt from the previous estimate of 6.55 million mt, representing a 1.2% decrease in year-on-year exports to EU member states.

The farm agency said its estimates for wheat exports outside of the EU were raised on higher expectations for Morocco and China. At the same time, estimates for exports within the EU were lowered due to greater competition from the Black Sea into Southern Europe.

The total volume of exports was also lowered to 16.67 million mt from 16.76 million mt a month ago.

The figure is just 0.1% above exports in the 2022/23 marketing year.

According to data from the European Commission, France exported 4.61 million mt of wheat between July 1, 2023, and February 2, 2024, with total wheat exports expected at 16.98 million mt, up 0.1% from 2022/23.

Estimates for French soft wheat ending stocks in 2023/24 were marginally higher at 3.49 million mt, but still represented a 37.1% increase in stocks from the 2.55 million mt held in the 2022/23 season.

French durum export estimates within the EU were lowered slightly to 730,000 mt, 10,000 mt lower than the previous estimate, while estimates for exports outside of the EU were unchanged at 130,000 mt.

The latest estimates reflect a year-on-year decline of 8.6% from the 798,000 mt of French durum exports within the bloc for 2022/23, but a year-on-year increase in exports outside the EU of 7.4% from 121,000 mt in 2022/23.

Expectations for ending stocks of durum wheat were reduced from the previous estimate to 118,000 mt, 27.4% below the 162,000 mt held in the 2022/23 season.

The agency slightly lowered its forecast for barley exports outside the EU at 3.13 million mt, or 1.4% below last year.

The intra-EU barley export forecast was unchanged at 2.9 million mt, a 6.8% year-on-year decrease compared with the 2022/23 season. While the agency expected exports from France to Spain and Portugal to decrease, it anticipated increased exports to Germany.

FranceAgriMer decreased its forecast for French corn exports in 2023/24 to countries outside the EU by 20,000 mt on the month to 350,000 mt.

Additionally, exports to the EU were slightly decreased to 3.51 million mt, from previous estimates of 3.52 million mt, a 5.8% increase in volumes exported to the EU in 2022/23.

Corn ending stocks were also raised on month and are expected at 2.37 million mt, up 43% from the 1.65 million mt held in the 2022/23 marketing year.