Summary of our market study

The cereals market in France is estimated at18 billion euros.

France has over 7.4 million hectares of cereal-growing land, i.e. around 50% of arable land. The Grand Est and Hauts-de-France regions lead the way in production. The main crops are soft wheat, barley and corn. France is a major player on the cereals market.

The needs of the milling industry are stagnating, while those of industrial outlets such as pasta production are increasing. France is self-sufficient in organic wheat.

The pandemic had a notable impact on barley used for malting, with world trade slowing by around 5%, leading to increased use of malting barley for animal feed. Corn demand remained stable in the EU, boosted by its incorporation in animal feed, which offset the drop in ethanol demand affecting US producers.

France is one of the world's top five cereal exporters. While countries such as China and India are major cereal producers, they have a limited presence on world trade markets.

Almost half of French production is destined for international markets. Bakeries and the cookie industry are the main buyers of cereals. Wheat also plays an important role in animal feed consumption.

The industry contributes to the socio-cultural fabric thanks to the preference for bakery products and the importance of cereals in the traditional French diet.

In addition, the trend towards organic production has increased, and the organic cereals sector has grown considerably.

Players in the global cereals value chain

  • Agricultural cooperatives play an essential role in the collection and distribution of cereals: European heavyweight Axereal exemplifies this category with its extensive network that ensures that farm-sourced grain is marketed and distributed efficiently.

  • Feed producers: Nuwen Animal Nutrition and Euralis stand out as major entities, supplying essential nutrients to the livestock industry.

  • Feed mills: The transformation of raw cereals into usable feed is the specialty of feed mills,

  • Malting plants: France is a leader in the production of malting barley: Vivescia is a global player.

  • The four world leaders in grain trading: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of the study

Cereals include all plants cultivated for their grains and used for human and animal consumption but also for industrial purposes. The main cereals in the world are wheat, corn, rice, barley and oats.

The main cereal producers in the world are China, the United States, the European Union, India, Brazil and Russia. The European Union produces 310 million tonnes of cereals for 56 million hectares under cultivation and enjoys a positive trade balance. World cereal production is dominated by maize, ahead of wheat and rice, which together account for 90% of the world's cereal production. Other grains produced include barley and sorghum. In 2018, more than 400 million tons of cereals were traded for nearly $100 billion, with France being the 5 ème world exporter of cereals and one of the leading European exporters.

Cereal growing in France occupies more than half of the arable land with almost 10 million hectares of occupied area This has made French agriculture a major sector, with the northwest and southwest regions being the most dynamic in terms of production. About ten species of cereals are grown in France, including soft wheat, grain corn, barley and durum wheat. There are tens of thousands of agricultural productions in France which act on the whole value chain: from collection, to the first transformation (milling, malting, etc.) to the second transformation (bakery, biscuit factory, etc.)

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Production de céréales par type
  • Principaux producteurs de céréales dans le monde (incluant le riz)
  • Production de céréales
  • Type de céréales à l'exportation
  • Répartition de la production française de céréales
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Latest news

Beer: now world leader, Soufflet wants to make malt greener - 15/11/2023
  • Malteries Soufflet has acquired 100% of Australia's United Malt through a €1 billion investment.
  • Following the purchase, the division of the InVivo group became number one in the sector, with 41 plants and a quarter of the world market.
  • Malteries Soufflet has opened operations in new countries, including North America and Australia.
  • Craft beers account for 15% of beer sales worldwide
  • Malteries Soufflet expects craft beer consumption to pick up again in less than two years
InVivo, the cooperative turned giant - 04/07/2023
  • InVivo is an agricultural cooperative giant with sales of 12 billion euros.
  • InVivo has reached agreement to buy United Malt Group (UMG)
  • The purchase of UMG is estimated at over 1 billion euros
  • Following this transaction, InVivo will become the world's leading maltster.
  • The global beer market, in which malt is a key ingredient, is experiencing dynamic growth.
  • InVivo doubled in size following the merger with family giant Soufflet, reaching sales of over €10 billion.
  • InVivo has over 13,000 employees and more than 90 industrial sites.
  • It was formed from the union of 185 agricultural cooperatives.
  • InVivo owns 76% of Teract, a distribution subsidiary.
  • The initial merger that led to the creation of InVivo took place in 2001 between Sigma and Uncaa.
Beer: Malterie Soufflet wins United Malt and becomes world champion - 03/07/2023
  • Malteries Soufflet has become the world leader in malt, with almost a quarter of the global market.
  • The company paid 1.5 billion Australian dollars (nearly 1 billion euros) to acquire United Malt Group, the 4th largest malt company in the world.
  • With this purchase, Malteries Soufflet has doubled its activities.
  • The purchase adds 12 processing plants to Malteries Soufflet's list of 29 industrial sites, located in Canada, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Mars Petcare invests 13 million euros in the Loiret region of France - 05/06/2023
  • Mars Petcare: 50 years of existence
  • Production site: Saint-Denis-de-l'Hôtel, Loiret, France
  • Current production: 67,000 tonnes of wet food per year 600,000 cans and 1 million pouches produced per day
Beer: €1 billion takeover bid by Malteries Soufflet for Australian malt champion - 31/03/2023
  • Acquisition of United Malt Group (UMG), the world's fourth-largest malt producer, for 1 billion euros
  • - Malteries Soufflet sales after acquisition: 2.2 billion euros
  • - Worldwide malt market share after acquisition: approx. 20%
  • - Annual growth in beer market: 2 to 3%
  • - Sales of InVivo, owner of Soufflet: 12 billion euros
  • - InVivo: operations in 38 countries, 90 industrial sites, including 63 in France
  • - 93% of malt used by the beer industry
France's InVivo to become world leader in malt - 31/03/2023
  • Recent acquisition of La Malterie du Château by InVivo.
  • Exclusive negotiations between Malteries Soufflet and United Malt Group (UMG) for a potential takeover.
  • The deal could be finalized within three to six months.
  • InVivo has sales of 12 billion euros.
  • Malteries Soufflet would become the world's leading maltster, with annual production of 3.7 million tonnes and a 20% market share.
  • UMG valued at 1 billion euros
  • Expected beer market growth of between 2.5% and 5% over the next five years.
  • According to IWSR, beer accounts for 75% of global alcohol volumes.
  • Whisky market growth between 5% and 6% per year.
  • Geographical complementarity between Malteries Soufflet (Europe, Latin America, Africa) and United Malt Group (Australia, Canada, New Zealand).

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :
Soufflet Groupe
Mars Petcare
Agriavis (Axereal)

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