French wheat quality update shows further move toward lower proteins

According to latest analysis by FranceAgriMer, 27% of French wheat crop has a protein content of less than 11%

With most samples now in, a preliminary analysis of France’s wheat crop in the week to August 23 showed a further, although small, increase in lower protein wheat compared to that published by farm agency FranceAgriMer a week ago.

In an update published last Thursday, the agency said the analysis, done in conjunction with crop institute Arvalis, showed 27% of the crop had a protein content of less than 11% with 95% of expected samples collected, down from 24% in last week’s preliminary analysis based on 76% of expected samples.

In 2021, FranceAgriMer reported just 5% of wheat below an 11% protein content, which is often seen as a minimum standard for milling wheat.

In the latest analysis, a further 31% of the crop was found to have a protein content of 11-11.5% as of August 23, down from 33% in last week’s analysis, while 23% was at 11.5-12%, 12% at 12-12.5%, and 7% at above 12.5% protein.

In 2021, 15% of the crop was found to have a protein content of 11-11.5%, 37% 11.5-12%, 28% 12-12.5% and 15% above 12.5%.

The agencies’ final report on French wheat quality will be published in September.

In terms of weight, FranceAgriMer recorded a slight increase in heavier weights compared with last week’s analysis, with 2% of the soft wheat coming in at less than 74 kg/hl, 11% at 74-76 kg/hl, 27% at 76-78 kg/hl, 35% at 78-80 kg/hl and 25% at higher than 80 kg/hl.

A separate analysis of samples classed 42% of the current soft wheat crop as superior, up from 40% last week, 12% as premium, unchanged, and 29% as average, up from 26%, according to the agency. These samples represented 84% of the final number expected.

Protein content has been a concern for the wheat crop in a number of European countries this year, with observers in Germany, the Baltic states, Ukraine and Russia noting the quality overall is lower than last year.

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