France Forecasts Soft-Wheat Harvest to Fall 8.8% on Yields
France’s soft-wheat harvest will slide 8.8 percent after a spring drought cut yields, less than the decline forecast a month ago, the Agriculture Ministry said. The outlook for barley and rapeseed was raised.
Soft-wheat production will drop to 32.5 million metric tons in 2011 from 35.7 million tons a year ago, the ministry said in a report on its website today. The outlook was raised by 548,000 tons from the ministry’s July report.
Rain in June and July broke a spring drought, partially restoring soil moisture and lifting crop prospects in France, the European Union’s largest wheat producer. Milling wheat for November delivery has fallen 17 percent in Paris trading since the end of May.
“The cereal yields will be reduced, resulting in a harvest decline,” the ministry said. “Rapeseed production will be up thanks to an increased planted surface.”
Average French wheat yields are forecast to be 6.48 tons per hectare (2.47 acres) compared with 7.24 tons in 2010, and better than the 6.35 tons forecast in the July report.
Barley production will drop 13 percent to 8.79 million tons, compared with 8.41 million tons forecast a month ago, the ministry’s report shows.
France’s rapeseed harvest is forecast to rise 4.2 percent to 5.02 million tons, the ministry said, reversing its July outlook for a 6 percent decline. Yields for the oilseed are seen at 3.25 tons per hectare from 3.29 tons in 2010, and compared with 2.98 tons forecast in July.
In a first estimate, the agriculture ministry put the 2011 corn harvest at 13.5 million tons, down 3.3 percent from the previous year on a decline in yields and planting.
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