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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

Cereals are all plants cultivated for their grains and used for human and animal consumption, as well as for industrial purposes. The world's main cereals are wheat, corn, rice, barley and oats.

The European Union plays an important role in the French agri-food industry and enjoys a positive balance of trade, thanks in particular to France, which remains the European Union's leading exporter and the world's 7ᵉ largest exporter. Global cereal production is dominated by corn, ahead of wheat and rice, which together account for 97% of world cereal production. Other cereals produced include barley, oats and sorghum.

Cereal growing in France will occupy 9 thousand hectares of cereal acreage in 2023, or around 53% of France's arable land, making French agriculture a major sector, with the North-West and South-West regions being the most dynamic in terms of production. [Agri-mutuel] A dozen cereal species are grown in France, including soft wheat, grain corn, barley and durum wheat. There are tens of thousands of agricultural productions in France, operating across the entire value chain: from collection to primary processing (milling, malting, etc.) and secondary processing (baking, biscuit-making, etc.).

In 2023, the total value of French cereal production rose by 5.8% in volume terms, a good recovery compared to 2021/2022, a year marked by difficult climatic conditions leading to poor harvests. On the other hand, the market has been impacted by the conflict in Ukraine, which has disrupted the European agricultural economy and caused cereal prices to fall by an average of 28.4% in 2023, after two years of very high commodity price rises. This drop in export prices has significantly reduced French exports.

In France, while 46% of cereals produced are exported, the remainder is used mainly forhuman and animal feed, either used directly on the farm by farmers for their livestock operations, or processed in factories. Bioethanol is an important part of French cereal production, as France is the leading bioethanol producer in the European Union.

The total area of organic farms has exploded in recent years, reaching 500 thousand hectares by 2023, despite the fact that the number of land conversions to organic farming is falling every year. This increase can be explained by European subsidies and changing consumption patterns.

1.2 The world cereals market

In ****-****, according to the FAO, an estimated *,*** million tonnes of cereals will be produced worldwide (***). The United States, the world's leading exporter, is losing market share every year.

Global cereal production has undergone a varied evolution in recent years. In ****-**, production stood at *,*** million tonnes, then rose to *,*** million ...

1.3 The French cereals market

Agricultural acreage

In France, * thousand hectares will be under cereal cultivation in ****, i.e. around **% of France's arable land, a figure that has risen in recent years. As shown in the graph below, the majority of cereal acreage is used to grow soft wheat. This makes it France's leading agricultural ...

1.4 France, a major cereal exporter

Almost half of French production is destined for export (***). The remainder of cereal production is intended to meet French demand. **% is marketed within the country, while the remaining **% is used by farmers for animal feed in particular. Breakdown of French cereal production France, ****, in Source : Passion Céréales Cereals are ...

1.5 The impact of Covid-19 on the cereals market

The coronavirus pandemic in **** had no overall impact on the global cereals market in terms of production. In fact, the graph below shows that cereal production and use actually increased in ****. The FAO estimates formulated on February *, **** projected cereal production and utilization at **** Mt and **** Mt respectively, i.e. lower than ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Cereals in the human diet

Cereals for human consumption take several forms, with a total of * million tonnes of cereals used, mainly in milling (***). The graph below details the main sectors that use cereals for their production:

Use of cereals for human consumption France, ****/****, in millions of tons Source: ****

As can be seen, bread-making represents a ...

2.2 Cereals in animal feed

For the ****/**** campaign, around *.* million tonnes of cereals were used by the animal feed industry, making it the main consumer of cereal grains. This sector also absorbs the majority of co-products from cereal processing (***), thus contributing to the sector's zero waste objective.

Part of the cereal grain produced is consumed directly ...

2.3 Cereals in bioethanol production

Cereals and bioethanol are closely linked. Cereals are the main raw materials used in bioethanol production. Cereals are generally used to produce bioethanol from their starch and sugar, which are natural, non-polluting products. Converting these products into bioethanol is a complex process that can be carried out using a variety of ...

3 Market structure

3.1 The cereal value chain in France

Source: ****

3.2 Trends in cereal production in France

The annual trend in cereal production is not stable, and has fluctuated over the last decade. Between **** and ****, cereal production decreased by **.*% in value, **.*% in price, and increased by *.*% in volume.

Annual change in French cereal production by value France, ****-****, in Source: ****

The trend in soft wheat production in France ...

3.3 Geographical weighting of French regions in the country's employment and cereal production

In terms of added value for the region, the Hauts de France region has the highest added value from cereal growing, at *.* billion euros, followed by Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Normandie, at *.* billion euros.

Employment in the French cereals sector

In ****-**, the French cereals industry will employ ***,*** people and generate sales ...

3.4 Grain distribution in France

Global cereal distribution is dominated by the "Big Four", also known as the "ABCDs". These companies are :

A: Archer Daniels Midland (***), an American multinational estimated at $** billion B: Bunge, also American, with sales of $** billion C: Cargill, also American, with sales estimated at $*** billion D: Dreyfus, a Franco-Swiss group with sales ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Typology of cereals produced in France

in France, more than half the cereals produced are soft wheat. This is followed by barley (***). Breakdown of cereal production in France France, ****, in Source: ****

4.2 Growing organic cereals

Organic farming is a production method designed to preserve the soil, natural resources and the environment in general.

Here are some examples of organic farming practices:

Crop rotation, Use of natural organic matter (***) and green manure, Respect for the seasons and the natural cycle of plants, Use of varieties adapted to ...

4.3 Trends in cereal prices and the bread price index

This graph shows the evolution of soft wheat prices (***) from January **** to May ****. Several periods of rising and falling prices can be observed during this period. The beginning of **** was marked by a drop that could be due to factors such as favorable weather conditions, oversupply or a drop in demand ...

5 Regulations

5.1 Regulations

Producer obligations

Before selling a product, the producer must ensure that sanitary obligations are met (***). He must also be able to provide all the information required for labelling and invoicing: otherwise, he is liable to his co-contractor and the authorities. [***]

Marketing cereals, oilseeds and protein crops

Cereals and oilseeds are subject ...

5.2 European regulations for organic cereals

European regulations CE ***/**** and ***/**** govern all organic plant production, including cereals, and are common to all European Union countries.

Producers who comply with these regulations can claim the "organic agriculture" label and use the AB logo for their production.

Controls are carried out by state-approved certification bodies (***).

The active substances authorized ...

5.3 The importance of the CAP to European and French agriculture

Launched in ****, the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (***) is a partnership between the agricultural sector and society, and between Europe and its farmers. Its objectives are to

to support farmers and improve agricultural productivity, guaranteeing a stable supply of food at affordable prices; ensure a decent standard of living for farmers in ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Segmentation

  • InVivo
  • Axéréal
  • Soufflet Groupe
  • Vivescia
  • Euralis
  • Mars Petcare
  • Intercéréales
  • Millbäker
  • Agriavis (Axereal)

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Major cereal producers worldwide (including rice)
  • Cereal production
  • Cereal production in Europe, by volume
  • World production by cereal type
  • Use of different types of cereals
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Latest news

Royal Canin steps up investments in France - 21/05/2024
  • - Mars investment in its French plants over the last five years: 500 million euros
  • - Number of Mars plants in France: 8
  • - Total Mars investment in 2023: 130 million euros
  • - Share of Mars pet food business: 60% (worldwide and France)
  • - Investment in Royal Canin's Aimargues and Cambrai production sites: 48 million euros
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 reaches 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

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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