French Soft-Wheat Export Outlook Raised on Expected Egypt Buying

French soft-wheat exports in the current 2013-14 season will rise more than predicted a month ago on expected demand from Egypt in the period’s second half, crop office FranceAgriMer said.

Shipments may climb 6.7 percent to 18.4 million metric tons in the year through June, the crop office wrote in an online report today, lifting its outlook by 175,000 tons. Exports were 17.2 million tons in 2012-13.

France is the European Union’s biggest wheat shipper and Egypt is the largest global importer of the grain. The Middle East country may lift wheat buying to 9.6 million tons in 2013-14 from 8.3 million tons, the International Grains Council forecasts. Ukraine, Russia and Romania were selected in import tenders in the season’s first three months.

The pace of exports from the Black Sea region “can’t continue,” said Olivia Le Lamer, head of FranceAgriMer’s arable-crops unit, citing available supplies. “That leaves a place in the weeks and months to come for purchases of French origin by Egypt.”

France loaded 2.5 million tons of soft wheat for export in the first three months of 2013-14, up 44 percent from a year earlier, according to Le Lamer. Shipments included 1.4 million tons for Algeria, the biggest importer of French-grown wheat.

The crop office raised its outlook for soft-wheat exports outside the EU in 2013-14 to 11.2 million tons from 11 million tons, compared with 9.91 million tons in the prior season.

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