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PARIS: France’s farm ministry on Wednesday forecast higher production of winter barley and rapeseed this year as an increased area was expected to offset lower yields as some crops suffer from drought.

In its first production estimates for this year’s harvest, the ministry projected French 2022 winter barley production at 8.25 million tonnes, up 0.4% compared with last year’s crop.

For winter rapeseed, the crop was pegged at 3.87 million tonnes, up 17.8% year-on-year. “While crop conditions remain good overall, drought has intensified across the country and, with respect to the initial yield estimates for winter barley and rapeseed, is affecting the yield potential for the upcoming harvest,” the ministry said in a crop report.

Analysts in France, the European Union’s biggest grain producing state, have pointed to crop damage in zones worst-affected by drought, although rain and cooler temperatures since late May have eased concerns. Harvest prospects in France are being monitored closely as grain markets wrestle with supply tensions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of the world’s largest crop exporters.

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