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French grain output hits record low

The lowest French wheat harvest since 1983 is set to push European Union production down sharply from last year's record.

At the same time, while persistent rain is also raising the risk of lower quality in some major wheat belts and an increase of the grain prices, analysts and traders said. French market bureau Agritel have lowered their forecasts of French grain with 5.23 million tonnes to 28.68 million tonnes. This is almost 30% less volume than last season (40.9 million tonnes). In some areas of France, even a 50% lower output is seen.

A French farmer holds three wheat ears, one normal, and two others (top) that suffered from too much moisture, in his field in Bantouzelle, France (beginning of August, 2016).
A French farmer holds three wheat ears, one normal, and two others (top) that suffered from too much moisture, in his field in Bantouzelle, France (beginning of August, 2016).

The poor French harvest means that Germany will take over from France as the biggest European grain exporter. Because of the bad harvest, French grain growers are forced to import expensive milling grain to comply with the delivery commitments. Many of the grain, unsuitable for human consumption, will end up in animal feed.

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