PARIS: Soft wheat exports from the European Union in the 2020/21 season that started last July had reached 13.61 million tonnes by Jan. 10, data published by the European Commission showed on Tuesday.
The bloc had reported soft wheat exports of 16.04 million tonnes by the same week last season, the data showed.
However, the Commission said in its data document that the current season’s figures were no longer directly comparable with previous periods due to Britain’s exit from the bloc.
From Jan. 1, the data covered the EU’s 27 countries, whereas previous figures up to Dec. 31 covered both the EU-27 and Britain, it said.
As the EU’s system for compiling customs data on exports and imports does not include information on trade within the bloc, it was not possible to revise previous data relating to Britain, it added.
Britain left the EU’s customs union at the end of December, following a transition period after its formal exit from the bloc in early 2020.
The switch to counting Britain as a non-EU country could have varying effects on figures for cereal trade.
Britain is a large importer of maize both from the EU and the rest of the world. It is usually a net exporter of wheat and barley, although a poor 2020 harvest has led the country to import a large amount of wheat this season.
The Commission’s latest weekly update showed that EU 2020/21 barley exports had reached 3.80 million tonnes, against a year-earlier 4.16 million, while EU 2020/21 maize imports stood at 8.93 million tonnes versus 11.85 million a year ago.