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French Soft Wheat Conditions Improve Following Rainfall

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June 15 (Bloomberg) -- French soft wheat rated “good” or “excellent” climbed for a ninth consecutive week in the seven days ended June 11, crop office FranceAgriMer said. Corn and durum wheat conditions deteriorated.

Soft wheat with top ratings rose to 73 percent from 72 percent a week earlier, the Montreuil-sous-Bois, France-based office wrote on its website today. At the same time a year ago, 26 percent was rated “good” or “excellent” after a spring drought stunted wheat growth.

Wheat plants have enough soil moisture to last until harvest after two months of rain, France’s wheat-growers’ association said earlier this week. The precipitation helped soft wheat recover from frost damage in February, it said.

France is the European Union’s largest wheat producer, and was the world’s second-largest exporter of the grain in 2011, International Trade Centre data show.

The ratings are the average for eight regions representing 54 percent of France’s soft-wheat area, the crop office wrote.

Durum wheat rated “good” or “excellent” fell 1 percentage point to 57 percent, based on three regions that make up 58 percent of French production, the data show. Corn with top ratings also slipped 1 percentage point, to 69 percent.

Winter barley with “good” or “excellent” ratings climbed to 66 percent from 65 percent. Spring barley rated in the top two categories advanced 1 percentage point to 84 percent, with the grain judged “excellent” rising to 29 percent from 25 percent a week earlier.

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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