Wheat is a cereal of the family of grasses used for human food and to a lesser extent for animal feed. The human consumption (bread, biscuits, flour products and raw wheat) is the main market with nearly 60% of the harvest followed by animal consumption at nearly 30%. The other opportunities are related to the u industrial wise men (starch and gluten manufacture) as well as to substrate uses for the biofuel and bioethanol production .
There are two types of wheat on the market:
- Durum wheat It is mainly produced in Europe, North America and the Middle East, which is very rich in gluten and used for the production of semolina and pasta.
- Soft wheat/froment The most important, more produced in China, India, Russia, the United States and France to make flour used for bread making.
The wheat sector is concentrated around producers, processors and distributors. Producers can be individual farmers or larger farms. In France, these operators are generally members of cooperatives that collect, transform and sometimes distribute . The rest of the distribution is carried out exclusively in the networks of mass retailing . At the global level, the China is the main wheat producer with more than 130 million tonnes produced (about 18% of the total), ahead of India, Russia, the United States and France.
The sector is mainly composed of large agricultural cooperatives, generating several million euros in turnover and bringing together agricultural holdings and individual farmers themselves. These actors are looking for growth driver for exports because it is complicated to maintain and improve margins in France under pressure from major distributors who do not want to impact price increases to consumers.
The wheat sector is an underlying market of the grain sector which is a volatile market because it depends on several exogenous factors influencing volumes and prices. In France, a 34% growth compared to 2017 has been experienced in soft wheat production with a farm volume representing more than 10% of France's total area (soft wheat representing nearly 20 times the production of durum wheat in France). The wheat market is subject to climatic conditions but also to political measures (financial aid) and legislative measures impacting the way of production and the necessary quality.
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