PARIS, FRANCE — Soft wheat exports from the European Union are down 22% compared to the same period in the previous marketing year, according to European Commission data published on Oct. 25.

Since the start of the 2023-24 season in July, the EU has exported 9.33 million tonnes of soft wheat compared to 11.98 million during the same period in 2022-23 season, the data showed. Romania has been the top EU exporter thus far at 2.57 million tonnes, followed by France (1.83 million) and Poland (1.65 million).

Among the factors in the reduced outgo is competition from Russia, which this summer harvested a record wheat crop and is on pace for record exports in 2023-24.

Conversely, EU soft wheat imports have increased sharply, the EC data showed, rising 37% from the previous year to 2.72 million tonnes. Drought-stricken Spain has imported more than half of that total at 1.51 million tonnes.

Other highlights from the report include:

  • EU barley exports are down 9% at 2.37 million tonnes
  • Durum wheat imports have risen to 1 million tonnes, five times higher than the same period in 2022-23
  • Maize import are at 9.04 million tonnes, down 40% from the previous year.