December 10, 2009


France 2009-10 soft wheat estimates little changed



France's official projection for soft wheat output this year is in line with last month's estimate, Agriculture Ministry data showed Wednesday (December 9).


FranceAgriMer expects soft wheat output to be 36.5 million tonnes this year, after forecasting 36.55 million tonnes in November.


Despite a 0.7% increase in acreage under cultivation, corn production is estimated at 14.8 million tonnes, slightly below the 15.6 million tonnes of last year due to a smaller harvest after a dry summer in the southwest of France.


Forecasts for exports within the European Union are 10% higher than last year at 6.5 million tonnes due to lower production in Europe and difficulties transporting corn via the Danube to Spain and Benelux countries, FranceAgriMer said.


It said the price of corn has risen since mid-September following two months of falls.


FranceAgriMer also said it forecasts acreage of the soft wheat winter sowing to increase 3% on year to 4.89 million hectares, while winter sowing of durum wheat is expected to rise 10% to 455,000 hectares.


The acreage of barley sown is forecast to fall 4% to 1.26 million hectares due to low prices for the cereal, FranceAgriMer said.