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PARIS, Oct 13 (Reuters) - France’s farm ministry on Tuesday lowered virtually all its estimates for cereal, oilseed and sugar beet crops this year after adverse weather throughout the season.
In a monthly crop report, the ministry cut its estimate for the 2020 grain maize crop, harvesting of which is in progress, to 13.5 million tonnes from 14.1 million last month, after a large reduction in its yield forecast.
The ministry said the grain maize harvest, excluding production for seeds, would still be 6% above last year’s volume and 4% above the five-year average due to a larger area sown.
The ministry also cut its sugar beet crop estimate to 30.5 million tonnes from 32.2 million last month. The new figure is 20% below last year’s harvest.
For soft wheat, the ministry cut its 2020 estimate to 29.2 million tonnes from 29.5 million last month due to a reduction in both the sown area and yield forecasts, confirming the EU’s top grain grower has harvested one of its smallest crops in years.
The revised soft wheat production estimate is down 26% from last year’s volume and 18% below the five-year average.
French winter crops suffered from heavy rainfall during sowings and dry spring weather that hurt crop development.
The ministry also cut its barley harvest forecast to 10.5 million tonnes from 11.0 million last month. The estimate is now 23% below last year’s crop and down 13% on the five-year average.
It pegged the rapeseed crop at 3.27 million tonnes, down 7% on last year and 32% below the five-year average.
The ministry also cut nearly all its other forecasts for grain and oilseeds. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Forrest Crellin and Mark Potter)
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