France hiked its forecast for its sugar beet crop to by far
the biggest on data going back 25 years, as it lifted, again, its expectations
for the grains harvest too, as crops overcame the country's latest weather test.
The French farm ministry hiked by nearly 1.5m tonnes, to 41.93m
tonnes, its forecast for the country's sugar beet harvest.
The upgrade, which took the crop nearly 6.3m tonnes above
last year's result, reflected expectations that output would be boosted by a
higher yield, besides the jump in sowings previously reported, and prompted by
the removal of European Union production quotas.
The French sugar beet yield was pegged at 895.0 tonnes per
hectare, up 37.1 tonnes per hectare from the previous estimate which was in
line with the 2016 result.
However, that would remain well below the 969 tonnes-per-hectare
yield achieved in 2011, when output hit 38.11m tonnes, the current high on data
going back 24 years.
The ministry flagged high late-August temperatures which had
raised fears "of negative impacts" on autumn-harvested crops - and followed earlier
tests for crops including a June heatwaves, and early-July rains which had threatened
the quality of summer-harvested crops.
However, the August heat appeared not to have affected
yields, the ministry said, raising too its forecast for French corn output this
year by 291,000 tonnes to 13.04m tonnes - although adding that as the harvest
had only just begun, this estimate was subject to review.
Among summer-harvested crops, the ministry raised by 149,000
tonnes to 37.94m tonnes its estimate of the French soft wheat harvest, nudging
higher its yield figure, and flagging that while the July rainfall had damaged
crop in some areas, overall the harvest was "of good quality".
The rapeseed harvest estimate was upgraded by 320,000 tonnes
to 5.51m tonnes, "close to the record of 2009".
"Climatic conditions did not significantly
affect production," the ministry said.