French ministry raises estimated wheat output, corn sharply lower year on year

The French agriculture ministry releases its estimates on wheat, corn, barley and rapeseed production

The French agriculture ministry has raised its estimate for the country’s soft wheat output in 2022 compared with its July estimate, while its first estimates for corn production are sharply down on 2021 levels and on the five-year average.

Wheat revised upwards

The ministry estimated soft wheat production at 33.9 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from 32.9 million tonnes in its July estimate.

This would mark a 4.4% drop in output year-on-year due to a decline in the planted area (down 5.8%) and despite a slight increase in yield (7.2 tonnes per hectare compared to 7.1 tonnes per hectare in 2021) and is 3.1% lower than the five-year average.

For durum wheat, the ministry estimated production at 1.4 million tonnes, slightly above last month’s figure but still markedly below last year and the five-year average due to a fall in the planted area.

The estimate is 14.2% lower than the previous year’s output and 19.1% lower than the five-year average.

Durum yield is estimated at 5.3 tonnes per hectare, just below last year’s levels.

France finished harvesting soft wheat this week, according to a report by farm agency FranceAgriMer earlier Friday.

Barley production stable

Barley production was estimated at 11.4 million tonnes, marginally up on last month.

Despite an increase in the planted area, this falls 0.6% below last year’s level and 3.2% below the five-year average.

Winter barley production was estimated at 8.4 million tonnes, slightly above last month and 2.5% up on last year’s figure, with an increase in planted area (up 7.1%) offsetting a drop in yields (down 4.3%).

Spring barley production is estimated at just below 3 million tonnes, an 8.3% drop on 2021 due to a sharp drop in yields (5.3 tonnes per hectare in 2022 against 6.1 tonnes per hectare in 2021).

Corn set to fall 18.5% on 2021

The ministry released its first estimates for the corn crop, stressing that these were indicative levels as harvest work on corn has not yet begun.

The 2022 harvest is provisionally estimated at 12.7 million tonnes, 18,5 % down on 2021 and 9,1% lower than the five-year average.

This is due to a 90,000-hectare drop in planted area and a sharp fall in expected yield, to 8.7 tonnes per hectare from 10 tonnes per hectare in 2021.

Rapeseed production sees sharp increase

By contrast, the ministry said it expected a sharp increase in rapeseed production this year, and currently puts the production figure at 4.3 million tonnes, up from just under 4 million tonnes in its July estimate.

This would be 31.6% higher than last year’s production figure and 6.4% higher than the five-year average.

The planted area exceeded 1.2 million hectares, which is 236,000 hectares more than in 2021.

The yield is currently estimated at 3.57 tonnes per hectare, up from July’s estimate of 3.28 tonnes per hectare and up 2.1% from last year.

Keep up to date with the latest grains and oilseeds news, price trends and forecasts by visiting Fastmarkets Agriculture.

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