PARIS- Consultancy Strategie Grains on Thursday raised its monthly forecast for soft wheat exports from the European Union and Britain in the 2020/21 season by 200,000 tonnes to 25.4 million tonnes, adding pressure on its low ending-stock forecast.
It did not give a reason for the change but emphasised that there was a sharp contrast between tight French and German supplies and high inventories in Poland and the Baltic states.
For next season, Strategie Grains kept its estimate for 2021 soft wheat production in the EU's 27 member countries at 129.6 million tonnes, up from 119.4 million last year.
Wheat demand was also expected to grow sharply, with strong demand for milling wheat as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the animal feed sector taking advantage of larger wheat availability.
Wheat use for ethanol and starch production should also rise during the expected economic recovery and expanding production capacity, the consultancy said.
On the flip side, Strategie Grains does not expect European wheat exports to increase much in the face of strong international competition next season.
It projected overall stocks at the end of 2021/22 to rise by 2.5 million tonnes from the current season to 12.1 million tonnes.
"Given this outlook, 2021-crop wheat prices have little potential for decline at present," it added.
European wheat futures have rallied in the past two weeks on concerns about adverse crop weather in both the European Union and the United States.
Strategie Grains also its estimate for this year's EU-27 barley harvest unchanged at 54 million tonnes, down from 55.4 million tonnes in 2020.
For maize, it made a slight incrtease to its forecast for this year's output to 65.1 million tonnes, against 65 million tonnes projected in March and sharply above the 62.5 million tonnes harvested last year, citing expectations for higher yields.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide Editing by David Goodman) ((Sybille.deLaHamaide@thomsonreuters.com; +336 8774 4148;))