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PARIS: The condition of French soft wheat was stable in the week to May 22, holding at its best level in at least a decade, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday.

An estimated 93% of soft wheat was in good or excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week, the office said in a weekly cereal report.

The score was above the 69% registered a year earlier and the highest for the time of year in FranceAgriMer data going back to 2011. France has had regular showers since March, which have boosted soil moisture after drought last summer and an unusually dry winter. A sunny, warm spell this week is expected to help crops in key northern plains following a wet, chilly start to May, though traders are still wary of renewed dryness.

The good/excellent ratings for winter and spring barley were also unchanged from the prior week, at 90% and 95% respectively. In a first rating for this year’s grain maize crop, FranceAgriMer estimated that 94% of the crop was in good or excellent condition against 90% a year earlier.

Farmers were nearing the end of maize planting, with 95% of the expected area drilled. Planting progress, which was hampered by rainy, cool weather, remained behind an average level of the past five years at 97%.

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