Rouen Grain Exports Fall 63% on Slowing Demand From Africa

Grain exports from the French port of Rouen, Europe’s biggest cereal-shipping hub, slid 63 percent in the latest week as demand from Africa slowed.

Shipments fell to 91,272 metric tons in the week ended yesterday from 247,213 tons in the prior period, the Seine River port wrote in an e-mailed report today. Wheat cargoes tumbled 58 percent to 88,252 tons.

Morocco was the top destination, buying 59,802 tons of wheat. That was half of the total a week earlier, when the country’s purchases were the highest since December 2011. Algeria also bought half as much wheat as a week earlier, while no grain was sold to Senegal or Ivory Coast, which both made purchases in the previous week.

The Netherlands was the only buyer of barley, purchasing 3,020 tons of malting-grade grain, according to the report.

Rouen accounted for 41 percent of France’s grain exports by sea in 2010-11, exceeding the 17 percent share for La Pallice on the Bay of Biscay and Dunkirk on the North Sea with 11 percent of the total, according to port figures.

Rouen grain loadings by destination, in metric tons:

                   Feb. 28-March 6
Soft wheat
Algeria                26,650
Morocco                59,802
U.K.                    1,800

Malting barley
Netherlands             3,020
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