French Barley Prices Win China Sales
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On April 12th, the French Ministry of Agriculture released preliminary predictions for the planting area of spring crops. It is expected that the area of soft Wheat and rapeseed will increase this year while the area of spring Barley will decrease. France is the largest producer of agricultural products in the European Union and the top Wheat producer. The French Ministry of Agriculture predicts that the planting area of soft Wheat in France will be 4.77 million hectares in 2023, an increase of 1.7% year-on-year and stable compared to the average of the past five years.
The estimated planting area of soft winter Wheat is 4.75 million hectares, slightly lower than the 4.76 million hectares predicted in February. The total area of rapeseed is estimated to be 1.34 million hectares, an increase of 9.3% from last year and 11.1% from the five-year average. The French Ministry of Agriculture stated that considering the impact of the 2022 drought and crop prices, sowing options are favorable for winter crops such as soft Wheat, Barley, and rapeseed.
Last summer, France was hit by drought and heat waves, causing losses to crops such as corn. The estimated spring Barley area in 2023 is 488000 hectares, a year-on-year decrease of 14.2% and a decrease of 19.2% compared to the five-year average. The total planting area of all Barley in France is estimated to reach 1.82 million hectares, a reduction of 2.1% year-on-year. The winter Barley area increased by 3.2% year-on-year, reaching 1.33 million hectares. The French Ministry of Agriculture will release a preliminary forecast of corn planting area in May.
Senalia loaded 2.4 million tons of cereals between July and December at Rouen port, up 11% compared with the same period last season, Chief Executive Gilles Kindelberger said during a company presentation. Like other EU exporting countries, France attracted extra demand at the start of the season after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hit Black Sea shipments.
Flows from Russia and Ukraine have since recovered, though, helped by creating a wartime Grain corridor from Ukrainian ports. After mostly shipping Wheat in the first half of the season, Senalia expected Barley to drive its activity for the rest of 2022/23, with increasingly competitive French Barley prices winning sales from China, Kindelberger later told reporters.
Port data showed that one vessel has just loaded around 40,000 tons of Barley in Rouen for China. Senalia was achieving high loading volumes despite dredging problems in the Seine River at Rouen, which had reduced by around 10,000 tons the maximum that could be loaded this season on large Panamax vessels, he added. Senalia loaded 4.05 million tons of cereals in the 2021/22 season. Among its other products, Senalia expects a recovery in volumes handled at its sugar silo this season.
French Wheat Trade
According to AgFlow data, France shipped 1.3 million tons of Wheat in Q1 2023. The leading markets were China (0.3 million tons), Morocco (0.28 million tons), Senegal (123,500 tons), and Cuba (85,000 tons). In 2021, France exported Wheat worth $4.74 billion, making it the 6th largest Wheat exporter in the world. In the same year, Wheat was France’s 19th most shipped product. The leading destination of Wheat exports from France is Algeria ($652 million), Belgium ($619 million), the Netherlands ($531 million), China ($498 million), and Spain ($364 million).
In 2021, France imported Wheat worth $127 million, becoming the world’s 71st most significant importer of Wheat. In the same year, Wheat was France’s 572nd most imported product. France imports Wheat primarily from: Germany ($45.2 million), Spain ($17.7M), Belgium ($15.8 million), Romania ($14.1 million), and Latvia ($10.1 million).
Other sources: SUNSIRS
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