French soft wheat shipments outside the European Union fell to their lowest in at least a decade for May, with steady loadings for Algeria standing out in an end of season lull, Refinitiv data showed. Soft wheat exports to destinations outside the EU-27 and Britain totalled 273,600 tonnes in May, the 11th month of the 2020/21 season, an initial estimate based on Refinitiv loading data showed. That was the lowest May volume in Refinitiv data going back to 2009/10 and less than half April’s 665,600 tonnes. Shipments tend to slow towards the end of the season as supplies diminish and availability has been further curbed by a smaller French harvest last summer.

French soft wheat exports outside the EU are expected at a four-year low over the full July-June 2020/21 season. Algeria accounted for three quarters of the May soft wheat shipments from France, importing 212,900 tonnes. No shipments were sent to Morocco in May after the country led in volumes from France in the previous two months, while a pause in wheat loadings for China also continued after high volumes earlier in the season. Cuba was the second largest non-EU importer of French soft wheat, accounting for 25,000 tonnes. Feed barley exports reached 236,500 tonnes in May, all destined for China and above April’s 168,900 tonnes that were also exclusively for China.

There was also one 30,000 tonne shipment of malting barley to Mexico last month, the Refinitiv data showed. Grain shipments to all destinations from French ports – including maize, waxy maize, malt and durum wheat – reached 782,700 tonnes, also the lowest May volume on record. Most French grain exported inside the EU is transported via non-maritime routes.

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