France to See One of its Biggest Wheat Harvests on Record
Due to a greater number of acres planted and a recovery for durum wheat, France is on pace to see its second biggest wheat harvest in recent history this year, according to the country’s farm ministry.
In its first estimate of 2015, the ministry forecasts that France will harvest 37.87 million tons of wheat – a 400,000 ton increase year on year, and the largest crop since 1998/1999 when the country harvested 38.25 million tons.
As high as this estimate is, there are other analysts that are forecasting higher – Cocereal is estimating that France will bring in a wheat crop of 38.29 million tons, and INTL FCStone is estimating a crop of 37.95 million tons.
A recent dry spell and high temperatures have caused some alarm among industry watchers, however, it is becoming apparent that these conditions are late enough in the season to not have a sizeable effect upon the crop which is predominantly winter-sown and far into its maturity.
France’s wheat sowing for this season was 5.16 million hectares – the highest in 20 years and 150,000 hectares over last year.
Durum wheat production will see a level of recovery with an estimated crop of 1.72 million tons – 277,000 tons above last year but still 16% below the average. Sowing of durum wheat is 324,000 hectares – 12.9% above last year after durum prices increased to a level to make production attractive.