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French Feed-Grain Use Seen Lower by Crop Office on Herd

French use of grain as livestock feed is forecast to fall to the lowest in 13 years as breeders shrink their herds, crop office FranceAgriMer said.

The amount of feed used to nourish livestock and poultry may decline to 10.3 million metric tons in 2012-13 from 10.4 million tons in the previous season, according to documents handed out at a meeting in Montreuil-sous-Bois, France, today. That would be the lowest since 1999-2000, FranceAgriMer data show.

French meat and livestock exports are losing out to competition from Germany and Spain, Michel Ferret, FranceAgriMer’s head of market research, said at the meeting.

Demand will fall “due to a reduction in the herds, of which part is destined for export,” Ferret said.

French use of soft wheat for livestock feed is forecast to drop to 4.6 million tons in 2012-13, down from 5.2 million tons the previous season and 200,000 lower than last month’s forecast, according to the crop office.

The outlook for corn used as feed in France was raised by 100,000 tons to 3.5 million tons.

The crop office expects livestock breeders will feed 100,000 tons of durum wheat, the hard variety typically used to make pasta, from none forecast last month. That would be the first time in at least five years the grain is used as feed.

“There might be qualitative reasons that the durum wheat is not suitable for making semolina,” Ferret said, referring to the flour made from the grain.

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