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Too early to estimate frost impact on France grain crops, says FranceAgriMer

PARIS, Apr 14 (Reuters) – It is still too early to estimate the impact on grain crops of the heavy frosts that have hit France, but there is some concern about damage in the center and south of the country, it reported on Wednesday the agricultural office FranceAgriMer.

Temperatures have fallen well below freezing for several nights in a row in various parts of France, the EU’s main cereal producer, causing significant damage to vineyards, orchards and sugar beets, prompting the government to promise financial aid.

In some areas of the country “there will certainly be some local damage, but we expect it to be marginal,” Benoit Pietrement, head of FranceAgriMer’s crop committee, told reporters.

“We are most concerned about the great Beauce / Val-de-Loire plain, where the crops were more developed and the cold wave was perhaps more severe,” he added.

In terms of supply and demand estimates, FranceAgriMer raised its forecast for soft wheat exports outside the 27 countries of the European Union to 7.55 million tonnes, down from 7.45 million last month. This figure is still 44% below the record of 13.54 million tonnes in 2019/20.

Meanwhile, sales within the EU were projected at 5.6 million tonnes, down from the 5.8 million tonnes forecast in March, mainly due to strong competition from German wheat in the northern part of the bloc.

In addition, FranceAgriMer kept its soft wheat stock forecast at the end of the 2020/21 season almost unchanged at 2.7 million tonnes.

The office also kept its forecast for barley ending stocks almost unchanged at 1.1 million tonnes, while it forecasts corn ending stocks at 2.0 million tonnes due to small adjustments in the balance of supply and supply. demand.

(Report by Sybille de La Hamaide. Edited in Spanish by Javier Leira)

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