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French wheat stocks forecast trimmed
Wednesday, April-12-2017

PARIS: Farming agency FranceAgriMer on Wednesday cut its forecast for French soft wheat stocks at the end of the 2016/17 season, after revising downwards how much of the crop it expects to be marketed from last year's harvest. 

In its monthly supply and demand outlook for cereals, FranceAgriMer projected soft wheat stocks at the close of the 2016/17 season on June 30 at 2.6 million tonnes, down from 3.0 million forecast in March and below the average of the past five seasons. 

It lowered its estimate for the volume of soft wheat to be sold onto the market to 25.7 million tonnes from 26.0 million previously. 

Local surveys had shown farmers in the European Union's biggest wheat producer had less than expected left to sell after making heavy sales at the start of the season to generate cash, Olivia Le Lamer of FranceAgriMer's grains unit told reporters. 

At the same time, farmers were also using more of the crop directly on their farms, rather than marketing the grain, she said. This led the agency to increase its estimate of on-farm use to 3.5 million tonnes from 3.0 million, 20 percent above last season's level. 

The reduced availability of domestic crop was partly offset by a 50,000 tonne increase in FranceAgriMer's forecast of French soft wheat imports this season, now pegged at 850,000 tonnes. 

On the demand side, FranceAgriMer left unchanged its outlook for French soft wheat exports, with shipments outside the European Union seen at 5.0 million tonnes and intra-EU sales at 5.7 million. 

For barley, the office cut sharply its forecast for French barley stocks as it factored in a run of shipments to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest importer of the cereal. 

It estimated barley stocks at the end of 2016/17 at 1.0 million tonnes compared with 1.6 million last month, while exports outside the EU were raised to 2.4 million tonnes from 2.0 million. 

FranceAgriMer raised slightly its projection for maize ending stocks to 2.0 million tonnes, but this remained below a five-year average of 2.55 million tonnes

Courtesy Business Recorder

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