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French Corn Outlook Raised on Yields, Crops Office Data Shows

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- France’s corn harvest, the European Union’s biggest, will rise 8.6 percent this year, more than a previous outlook on higher-than-expected yields, a forecast published by crops office FranceAgriMer showed.

Production will climb to 15.02 million metric tons from 13.82 million tons a year ago, according to an outlook dated Nov. 2 published on the website of FranceAgriMer. The forecast was raised from 14.75 million tons previously.

“The new outlook for the corn harvest is effectively lifted to 15.016 million tons,” Virginie Nicolet, a spokeswoman for FranceAgriMer, said in an e-mailed statement today.

The outlook for corn yields was raised to 9.8 tons per hectare (2.47 acres) from 9.6 tons previously on increases in productivity for the Aquitaine region, the biggest French growing region, as well as for Poitou-Charentes and the Alsace, according the crops office website.

The FranceAgriMer forecast is “quite a low figure compared to the consensus, which is between 15.5 and 16 million tons,” Bourges, France-based farm adviser Offre et Demande Agricole said in an e-mailed comment today.

The EU has been exporting corn at the fastest pace in at least seven years as the outlook for bigger crops in France and Romania, the bloc’s second-largest grower, has hurt prices, making exports more attractive to overseas buyers. Corn futures in Paris have shed 11 percent in the past two months.

EU corn export commitments from July 1 to Nov. 1 amounted to 1.1 million tons, compared with 362,000 tons at the same time a year ago, according to weekly export-license data from the European Commission.

The French soft-wheat crop estimate was cut by about 100,000 tons to 33.7 million tons as the assessment of yields in the Haute Normandy region was lowered, FranceAgriMer data showed. Production is down 5.6 percent from the year-earlier harvest of 35.7 million tons, according to the data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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