Russians trump French in wheat exports

28-09-2022 | |
Photo: Canva
Photo: Canva

Although the quality is good, the agricultural service FranceAgriMer has lowered export expectations for French wheat. The service now assumes an export of 10 million tons of French common wheat to countries outside the EU.

The new estimate of the export quantity is 300,000 tons lower than the estimates made in July this year. FranceAgriMer explains this lower estimate is on the basis of the large harvest in Russia and the highly competitive prices at which that wheat is placed on the world market.

More sales to the animal feed industry

The lower export is amply compensated by higher sales to the animal feed industry, according to FranceAgriMer. According to the estimate of this agricultural service, the French feed producers will process 4.4 million tons of common wheat into feed. That is 500,000 tons more than the previous estimate. The higher amount of wheat in the animal feed serves to compensate for the lower production of maize this year.

In addition, the French also expect to sell more wheat to other EU member states. Total exports to EU countries are estimated at 7.1 million tons, which is 100,000 tons more than the previous forecast.

Good quality despite extreme weather

The quality of common wheat and durum wheat is very satisfactory this year despite the extreme conditions. FranceAgriMer and the Arvalis research institute concluded this from samples taken when the grain was stored in the silos.

Cereal crops have suffered this year from extreme drought and high temperatures in the spring and summer. Despite this, 59% of the common wheat is of superior or premium quality, the researchers conclude based on laboratory tests. This means that this wheat contains at least 11% protein, has a hectolitre weight of more than 76 kilos and a Hagberg falling number of more than 220 seconds.

Protein content

The protein content of the wheat remains at 11.4% slightly below the average of 11.9% over the past 5 years. According to the research, this has not affected the baking quality of the wheat, which remains very high. The dry weather during the harvest has contributed to 96% of the grain having a falling number above the minimum for baking wheat of 240 seconds. The hectolitre weight of the grain is on average 78.3 kilos this year. More than 60% of the harvested durum wheat has a protein content of more than 14%.

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John Ramaker Commodities market editor, Boerderij