Reuters reports that France’s grain export lobby has invited an Iraqi delegation to visit the country as it tries to break into what has become one of the world’s major wheat import markets.
The move followed the signing last year of a letter of intent between France Export Cereales and Iraq’s grain board on establishing cooperation.
Jean-Pierre Langlois-Berthelot, president of the export lobby, told the Reuters Global Food and Agriculture Summit, “it’s a very important market in this region. We have to be there [Iraq]”.
France Export Cereales is confident French wheat will meet an official forecast for record shipments of 12.6 million tonnes outside the European Union this season, which would leave the country with adequate stocks of 2 million tonnes, he said.
French wheat has benefited this season from the absence of Russia and to some extent Ukraine in export markets after drought hit their harvests last year.
Langlois-Berthelot said rising food demand in Africa offered strong long-term export prospects but that the French grain sector would have to improve quality criteria such as moisture and protein levels in order to compete.