Heat, drought and storms have shrunk the wheat harvest in France, the European Union’s largest exporter, and further weighed on global supplies.
The country’s soft wheat production will fall about 7% this year to 32.9 million tonnes, below the five-year average, the agriculture ministry said in its first forecast for the season on Tuesday. One of France’s driest and warmest springs on record impacted yields during a crucial period of development.
That threatens to reduce the excess grain available for shipping abroad, which many importers may have to turn to. Russia’s invasion has hampered harvests and exports from breadbasket nation Ukraine, tightening global supplies. While benchmark wheat futures have slipped from a record set in March, they remain historically high.
Post-war EU wheat exports are expected to skyrocket as buyers seek alternatives to Ukrainian supplies. The bloc forecasts that soft wheat shipments will rise 27% to 38 million tonnes in the season that started this month, constraining the region’s stockpiles.
According to Meteo France, May temperatures were the highest ever in France and rainfall was extremely low. The country is now being gripped by another heatwave and while this could speed up the wheat harvest, it risks hurting yields for crops grown later, such as corn.
The US government will also update its global supply and demand estimates later on Tuesday. Chicago and Paris wheat futures declined as traders waited for the report.
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/tillage/grain-prices/french-heat-and-drought-shrinks-wheat-harvest-in-key-eu-exporter-41836306.html Heat and drought in France are causing wheat harvests to shrink at a key EU exporter