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French Farm Exports Rise for First Month in Five on Wine Demand

France’s farm and food exports, the world’s fifth-biggest by value, rose for the first time in five months in June as demand for wine and spirits more than made up for falling grain shipments.

Exports increased to 4.7 billion euros ($5.8 billion) from 4.4 billion euros a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry wrote in an online report today.

France is the world’s largest wine exporter and Europe’s biggest grain shipper. The country trails the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany and Brazil in value of agricultural exports, World Trade Organization figures show.

“Exports are up for all the processed products,” the ministry said. “Wine and alcohols are the main contributors. They’re benefiting from demand from Asia, the U.S., Switzerland and Canada.”

Farm products and food contributed a current-account surplus of 789 million euros in June, up by 80 million euros from the year-earlier month.

France’s grain exports excluding rice plunged to 463 million euros from 605 million euros in June last year, while oilseed and protein-crop exports rose to 78 million euros from 68 million euros, the ministry said.

Wine and champagne shipments climbed to 669 million euros from 532 million euros. Total beverage exports rose to 1.2 billion euros from 958 million euros, the report showed.

France imported 3.91 billion euros of agricultural goods and food in the month, compared with 3.69 billion euros in June 2011, the ministry said.

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