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EU's total wheat exports down 4% on year in 2018-19

New Delhi — The EU exported a total of 22 million mt of wheat in the 2018-19 marketing season (July-June), down 4% on the year, latest data from the EU Crops Market Observatory data showed Monday.

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Soft wheat exports, which account for more than 90% of the EU's total wheat shipments, reached 20.6 million mt, which is down 2% from 2017-18 levels, the EU data showed.

Soft wheat exports out of the EU slowed down in June, the last month of the 2018-19 marketing year, with shipments hitting a total of 556,768 mt, way behind the two-year average of 906,840 mt, according to the data.

The EU's total wheat exports in 2018-19 fell a distant short of the European Commission's projections of 26.6 million mt made in July 2018. EU wheat exports were also lower than the latest estimates by the US Department of Agriculture of 24 million mt for 2018-19.

The EU faced stiff competition from Russia and Black Sea origins in 2018-19, losing market share in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, South Africa and Cuba, the USDA said in an earlier report.

French wheat, which accounts for more than 40% of total EU wheat shipments, only became price competitive recently, the USDA said in April.

Algeria was the largest buyer of EU wheat, with total purchases of soft wheat reaching 5.2 million mt in 2018-19, according to the EU data.

-- Rohan Somwanshi, rohan.somwanshi@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Pankti Mehta, newsdesk@spglobal.com