Little scope for EU to take wheat export business from Russia

Tight wheat supplies in the European Union will limit its scope to win more export business this season after Russia’s decision to impose a wheat export tax, consultancy Strategie Grains said on Dec. 17.

Moscow will apply a 25-euros- (US$30.57-) per-tonne tax on wheat exports from Feb. 15 until the end of the marketing season on June 30 as part of efforts to stabilize domestic food prices. While the consequences of the tax are still unclear, traders and analysts expect a drag on Russian shipments.

“There is little availability for the EU to export much more wheat than already projected and the export demand that Russia risks losing will therefore need to transfer onto Australian and/or Argentinean wheat instead,” Strategie Grains said.

The French firm increased its monthly forecast for soft wheat exports from the EU and Britain in the current 2020-21 season to 24.7 million tonnes from 24.3 million.

That reflected a sharp increase to expected French shipments on sustained sales to China and renewed competitiveness in Algeria, which outweighed reduced competitiveness for German and Polish exports, it said.

Like other analysts, Strategie Grains has kept Britain in its EU supply-and-demand projections during the transition period since Britain’s exit from the bloc last January.

However, it also issued this month initial forecasts for next year’s harvest based on only the remaining 27 EU countries.

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