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France seen importing more wheat from eastern EU

Staff Writer | September 3, 2016
A vessel is due to call at the northern French port of Dunkirk next week to unload wheat from Bulgaria, shipping data showed, in a sign of unusual movements of wheat into France following a poor harvest.
France wheat
Food trade   Unusual import flows throughout the season
The bulk carrier AS Elenia is transporting 33,500 tonnes of wheat that was loaded at the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna, the data showed, Hellenic Shipping News reports.

France, the European Union’s biggest wheat grower and exporter, usually imports only small volumes and rarely takes any wheat from Bulgaria. Its previous wheat imports from the eastern EU country date back to the 2010/11 season when it took in just 11.5 tonnes, French customs records show.

France is also set to import a large cargo of wheat from Romania in the second half of August, traders said last month, reflecting a poor French harvest due to bad weather that has cut supply and widened the gap between French and eastern European prices

“We’re going to see these kinds of unusual import flows throughout the season,” one trader said. Several traders said the wheat from Bulgaria was not for consumption in France but would be re-exported to the United States to fulfil a previous deal to ship animal-feed wheat to the US from a French port.

This summer’s French harvest, which is showing the worst yields in three decades, has left port terminals with less grain than expected and priced French wheat out of many export markets.

Shipping data indicates that a vessel is due to call at Dunkirk and Rouen, another northern French port, later this month to load feed wheat for Wilmington in the United States, the second such shipment since July.