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French cereal crop ratings down sharply as drought builds

Crop conditions for French wheat and barley crops declined sharply last week as dry weather persisted in the EU’s biggest grain-growing country, data from farm office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday.

An estimated 82% of French soft wheat crops were in good or excellent condition in the week to May 9, down from 89% the previous week, FranceAgriMer said in a cereal report.

That marked a second straight weekly decline in the rating after a two-point drop the previous week. The latest score was nonetheless above a 79% rating a year earlier.

Crop observers have warned that cereals may start losing yield potential, with a hot, dry spell this week expected to increase pressure on plants, before the possible return of rain next week.

Barley and durum wheat ratings also fell sharply last week, FranceAgriMer’s data showed.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Gus Trompiz; editing by Mark Potter and Jason Neely

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