French 2022-23 wheat output pegged below 5-year average

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27 July 2022, EU: France’s wheat harvest in the 2022-23 marketing year is expected to fall by more than 2mn t on the year and lag the 2017-21 average by around 1.5mn t, amid mixed crop conditions across the country, Argus‘ agricultural advisory arm, Agritel, has said.

Agritel now pegs France’s wheat production this season at 33.44mn t, following a survey conducted among French farmers on 18-22 July, down from 35.43mn t in 2021-22. Agritel previously worked with an estimate of 33.25mn t, while French agricultural ministry agency Agreste projects output at 32.9mn t.

The estimate assumes total wheat acreages of 4.71mn hectares (ha), in line with agricultural ministry figures, while projecting average yields at 7.1 t/ha, against 6.99 t/ha expected by the ministry.

The survey reflects mixed weather conditions across France, with hot and dry weather weighing on yields in the southwest, while milder conditions and rainfall in June helped lift yields in the north. This means yields are pegged as much as 15pc below the 2017-21 average in the southwestern regions of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie, and up to 5pc above the five-year average north of Paris.

The estimate suggests that France’s 2022-23 wheat harvest could be the seventh lowest since 2000-01, with the output previously hitting its nadir at 27.6mn t in 2016-17.

As for quality, overall levels are expected to be high but consignments need to be homogenised, according to Agritel. The dry weather in the spring and lower application of urea limited protein levels in some areas, implying that lots would have to be mixed using wheat from different parts of the country.

Despite a lower output on the year, French wheat exports are expected to rise from 2021-22, reflecting stronger demand from key importers. Agritel expects France’s non-EU wheat shipments in 2022-23 to reach 10.75mn t, up from about 8.8mn t exported last season.

Also Read: China: Measures counter food security risks

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