More benign weather is expected for France, easing investors'
nerves after hot weather which has sent the wheat crop rating to well below
last year's level.
French state agency FranceAgriMer graded 68% of the national
soft wheat crop as being in "good" or "excellent" condition on Monday – down from
74% a week earlier, and 75% at the same point in 2016.
In 2015, 85% of the 2015 crop was rated as good to excellent
in mid June.
The downgrade follows concerns over hot weather which has
seen temperatures of 38 degrees Celsius, and prompted the government to extend
alerts over the heatwave to 66 departments,
Indeed, the highest temperatures have been recorded since
Monday, raising ideas that the crop may have deteriorated further since.
However, Paris futures were little moved by the data,
standing up 0.3% at E178.00 a tonne for December delivery, in afternoon deals,
well below a 10-month high of E183.00 a tonne reached earlier this week.
"Fears over damage to the crops in France caused by the
heatwave are counterbalanced by positive harvest potential in the rest of
Europe," said Agritel.
Furthermore, more benign weather is expected for much of
Europe, with MDA saying that "cooler and wetter conditions are on the way for
northern and western areas.
"Showers should return to UK, southern
France, northern Spain, northern Italy, northern Germany, Romania, and Hungary
The rating comes as the wheat harvest is just beginning
First cuts "are not giving any clues about yields but
quality looks promising", Agritel said.
For winter barley, for which the harvest is more advanced
and "10 days ahead of schedule in many region… qualities is good or very good
most of the time", but yields are variable.
For spring barley, AgriMer cut its rating to 66% good to
excellent, down from 73% the week before.