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PARIS: Farm office FranceAgriMer on Wednesday cut its forecast for French soft wheat exports outside the European Union this season for the fourth consecutive month on a gloomy outlook for sales to Algeria where it faces competition from the Black Sea region.

In its monthly supply and demand outlook for major cereal crops, the office reduced its forecast for soft wheat exports outside the European Union in 2021/22 to 8.9 million tonnes from 9.0 million in January.

Projected exports within the 27-member bloc, however, were increased to 7.8 million tonnes from 7.7 million tonnes last month.

“Non-EU exports are again cut due to the ongoing standstill in exports to Algeria,” Marc Zribi, head of FranceAgriMer’s crop unit, told reporters.

French wheat has been overlooked in Algeria’s tenders this year, according to traders. Zribi had said last month the trend seemed to be linked both to diplomatic tensions between Paris and Algiers as well as the attractiveness of other origins like Russian wheat.

Algeria is one of France’s main export customers, but the North African country changed quality specifications in its tenders which favoured the supply of rival Black Sea origin wheat.

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