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PARIS: French cereal sowings had again made little progress last week while crop ratings extended their fall, farm office FranceAgriMer data showed on Friday, in a sign that heavy rainfall since last month has taken a toll on crops.

Farmers had sown 82% of the expected soft wheat area for next year’s harvest in the European Union’s largest grower by Nov. 27, FranceAgriMer said in a crop report. That was up from 74% last week, but well behind the 99% sown by the same stage last year and a five-year average of 95%.

Soft wheat sowings traditionally advance by 15% to 20% per week in France but have made little progress in previous weeks due to wet weather.

France has experienced record amounts of rain between mid-October and mid-November and the weather has continued to remain wet since. Some large grain producing regions have recorded showers nearly every day, while heavy rainfall in the north flooded fields.

The amount of soft wheat in good or excellent condition stood at 80%, down from 83% last week and 91% three weeks earlier, FranceAgriMer said. Winter barley sowings were 92% by Monday, compared with 86% the previous week.

They were over by the same stage last year. Crop conditions also declined, dropping to 82% good-to-excellent from 85% last week and 97% last year, FranceAgriMer said.

Spring barley sowings also made little progress, at 5% against 2% the previous week and a five-year average of 9%.

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