France Forecasts Increase In 2021 Soft Wheat Output
France, the European Union's biggest grain producer, is expected to produce 37.1 million tonnes of soft wheat this year, up 27.1% from 2020, the farm ministry said in its first forecast for this year's crop.
The projected production was also 11.2% above the average of the past five years, the ministry said in a crop report posted on its website on Monday.
The 2021 forecast was based on a projected yield of 7.51 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), up from 6.85 t/ha last year, and a crop area of 4.94 million hectares, up from 4.26 million last year, it said.
Last month, the European Commission trimmed its forecast of usable production of common wheat in European Union's 27 member countries in 2021/22 to 125.8 million tonnes from 126.2 million estimated in May.
Favourable growing conditions have benefited France's soft wheat crop development although frequent showers and cool temperatures since late June have caused concern about harvest delays and deterioration of crop quality.
Crop institute Arvalis on Friday said it expected the French soft wheat yield to reach 7.4 t/ha.
Some traders and analysts have been anticipating production at around 38 million tonnes.
The ministry pegged this year's all-barley harvest at 11.3 million tonnes, up 8.4% from last year.
That included 7.94 million tonnes of winter barley, an estimate revised up from 7.74 million last month, and a first projection of spring barley output at 3.35 million tonnes, down 14.1% versus a bumper 2020 crop.
For rapeseed, the ministry pegged production, including a marginal 4,000 tonnes of spring crop, at 3.0 million tonnes, down 9% from last year.
That represented a slight increase to the winter rapeseed crop from 2.95 million tonnes initially forecast last month.
The area sown with grain maize in France was seen falling to 1.44 million hectares, an estimate revised down from 1.50 million in June.
For sugar beet the ministry expected the area to shed 3.1% from last year to 408,000 hectares, an estimate revised up from 397,000 hectares seen last month. This would now be 9.2% below the five-year average.