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France raises 2021 wheat, maize and sunseed crop estimates

PARIS, Nov 9 (Reuters) - France's farm ministry on Tuesday raised its estimate for 2021 soft wheat production in the European Union's biggest grain grower to 35.5 million tonnes from the 35.2 million projected last month.

That would be 21.5% above last year's poor crop and 6.2% above the five-year average, the ministry said in a monthly crop report.

The ministry also lifted its projection for France's grain maize crop to 14.5 million tonnes, from 13.9 million forecast last month. Including seeds, the crop would be at 14.85 million tonnes, the highest volume since 2014, it said.

For sunflower, another spring crop, it raised the output estimate to a record 2 million tonnes, up from 1.9 million tonnes forecast in October. The crop, which benefited from good weather conditions, would be nearly 45% above the five-year average, it said.

The sugar beet crop, which is still being harvested, is now estimated at 34.1 million tonnes, up slightly from 34 million forecast in October.

"Production estimates are revised upwards for most cereals, oilseeds and protein crops. The corn, sunflower and beet harvests benefited from the summer rains and are still estimated to have increased significantly from 2020," the ministry said.

The barley harvest estimate was nearly unchanged at 11.4 million tonnes while the rapeseed crop was still seen at 3.3 million tonnes. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide Editing by David Goodman)

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