French Grain Exports Up Sharply, Stocks Down

Despite all the media doom and gloom, and reports of how the EU is continuing to miss export business to the Black Sea, French grain exports are up sharply. Not only that but stocks are actually down on year ago levels.

France has exported 9.6 MMT of soft wheat in the first seven months of the 2008/09 marketing year, and increase of 45% on the 6.6 MMT exported at the same point a year ago, according to official government figures.

Of this quantity 3.8 MMT (4.3) went to other EU countries, including Netherlands 919,000 MT (1.3), to Belgium 759,000 MT (799,000), to Italy 878,000 MT (903,000), to Spain 521,000 MT (407,000), to Portugal 333,000 MT (367,000) and to Germany 179,000 MT (249,000). Exports to third countries increased sharply by more than 150% to 5.8 MMT from 2.3 MMT.

Barley export were up 20% to 3.0 MMT and corn exports 50% higher at 3.6 MMT.

Out of interest, French corn exports to the UK were lower year-on-year at 272,000 MT from 337,000 MT in 2007/08.

Despite last seasons bumper harvest, the pace of exports means that grain inventories are actually a little lower than year ago levels.

ONIGC reports that commercial grain stocks in France amounted to 14.7 MMT as of March 1, 2009 which is below the 15.0 MMT recorded at the same time of last year. Wheat stocks (excluding durum) stood at 6.0 MMT (6.9), barley stocks at 3.4 MMT (2.6), corn at 4.6 MMT (4.7), and durum wheat at 361,000 MT (534,000).