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French wheat crop estimate raised to 32m T

Paris, July 12, 2011

French farm office FranceAgriMer has raised its estimate for this year's soft wheat crop to 32 million tonnes from 31 million last month, data posted on its website showed on Tuesday.

The revised forecast, based on figures as of July 5, was still 10.3 percent down on a 2010 crop of 35.7 million tonnes and would remain the smallest since 2007.

The office's new estimate was in line with that issued by the farm ministry last week and was also similar to analyst projections.  A spring drought stressed crops in France but the return of rain in June is thought to have boosted plant development in some areas, leading analysts and traders to raise forecasts.     

FranceAgriMer's latest soft wheat crop outlook was based on an estimated average yield of 6.4 tonnes per hectare, down 12 percent on 7.3 tonnes last year, and a 2 percent rise in area sown to 5 million hectares, the data showed.

Wheat harvesting is well underway in France but is yet to reach traditionally high-yield zones north of Paris, where recent rain is expected to have boosted yield potential.

The office lowered its outlook for the total barley crop, pegging it at 8.5 million tonnes versus 8.7 million a month ago, now down 16.9 percent on year.  

The average barley yield was seen at 5.4 tonnes a hectare, down 15 percent on 2010, with the area falling 2 percent. This included expected output of 6.4 million tonnes for winter barley, with average yield put at 5.9 tonnes a hectare, and a spring barley crop of 2.1 million tonnes, based on an average yield of 4.4 tonnes per hectare.

The office raised its estimate of durum wheat output to 2.0 million tonnes from 1.9 million, which would still be down 20 percent on last year.

This reflected a 13 percent fall in average yield to 5.0 tonnes a hectare and an 8 percent drop in area sown.  -Reuters




Tags: France | wheat | Farm |

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