New forecast of 22.3 mln t would beat 2008/09 record. EU wheat price-competitive as China fuels world demand.
Wheat exports from the European Union could hit a record volume above 22 million tonnes in 2013/14, driven by attractive prices, stronger-than-expected demand and lower supply from export rivals Argentina and Australia, analyst Strategie Grains said.
As part of monthly grain forecasts issued on Thursday, the French-based analyst raised sharply its estimate of EU soft wheat exports in the 2013/14 July-June season by 4.6 million tonnes to 22.3 million.
“This sharp increase can be attributed to high global demand in 2013/14 and the current very competitive position of EU wheat on the market against the other origins,” it said.
The revised export forecast would be above last season’s volume of 17.7 million and exceed a record 21.7 million seen in 2008/09, according to Strategie Grains’ estimates. Analysts have been expecting competitively priced EU wheat to maintain healthy exports in 2013/14, despite a possible rise in shipments in from Russia and Ukraine.
But Strategie Grains’ outlook is one of the most bullish so far and well above the U.S. government’s forecast of 20 million tonnes that includes durum wheat.
West EU wheat was much cheaper than wheat from top exporter the United States and close to prices from non-EU Black Sea states, while wheat from east EU suppliers Romania and Bulgaria virtually matched Russian and Ukrainian prices, it said.
Romanian wheat this month scored a sale of 120,000 tonnes to Egypt, the world’s No. 1 wheat importer, and is seen as in contention in a new tender by Egypt on Thursday.
French wheat exports were the main beneficiary of the revised EU forecast, adding 2.3 million tonnes to 11.6 million, including 400,000 tonnes to China.
Strategie Grains raised by 3 million tonnes its projection of global wheat trade to take into account a wave of Chinese imports partly linked to damage to its new crop.
World wheat trade would remain below the 2012/13 level but a smaller expected export surplus in Argentina and Australia would leave more room for EU shipments, it said.
Strategie Grains cut its forecast of Argentine wheat exports by 2.1 million tonnes to 4 million, now down 2.5 million on 2011/12, and lowered its outlook for Australian exports by 2.4 million to 17.4 million, down 3.8 million on last season.
In addition to raising projected Chinese imports, by 2.8 million to 6.4 million tonnes, the analyst increased expected Egyptian imports by 1 million to 8 million tonnes, adding that uncertainty about Chinese supply data and political turmoil in Egypt made projections for the countries tentative.
(Source – http://www.blackseagrain.net/about-ukragroconsult/news-bsg/eu-wheat-exports-may-hit-record-in-2013-14)