November 16, 2007


France raises estimate for 2007 corn crop, cuts wheat



The French farm ministry on Thursday (November 15) upped its projections for the country's 2007 corn harvest to 13.92 million tonnes, an increase from 12.96 million seen in September and 9 percent higher than in 2006.


The rise was due to a sharp climb in the estimated yield, now pegged at 9.43 tonnes per hectares from 8.85 tonnes last month.


In its latest crop estimates, the ministry's statistical arm also reduced its soft wheat output estimate to 30.87 million tonnes from 31.27 million tonnes in October and down 7 percent on last year.


Compared to the 2002-2006 average, the drop would reach 10 percent due to summer rainfall which, on contrast, has been beneficial to corn and sugar beet, the ministry said in a statement.


The barley crop estimate is almost unchanged at 9.46 million tonnes, against 9.47 last month and a drop of more than 9 percent on year.


The ministry lifted its estimate sugar beet estimate slightly to 32.37 million tonnes, up from the 32.34 million tonnes prediction issued last month and up 8 percent on last year.


The ministry put the country's oilseed harvest at a total of 6.13 million tonnes, of which 4.62 million tonnes of rapeseed, against 4.55 million in October and 18 percent higher than last year. The change was mainly due to a higher area estimate.


The sunseed output was at estimated at 1.38 million tonnes, down 7 percent on year.