PARIS, June 18 (Reuters) - Cereal crop ratings in France
were stable in the week to June 14, with field conditions
staying mostly favourable during a hot spell, data from farm
office FranceAgriMer showed on Friday.
An estimated 81% of soft wheat, France's main cereal crop,
was in good or excellent condition, unchanged from the previous
week and well above a year-earlier score of 56%, FranceAgriMer
said in a weekly cereal report.
Increasingly hot weather this month has generally been
viewed as beneficial for crops after a chilly spring, keeping
France on course for a rebound from last year's disappointing
Temperatures in France, the European Union's biggest grain
producer, reached 30 degrees Celsius (86°F) or above in much of
the country earlier this week, but storms from mid-week that
brought rain and more moderate heat are expected to limit the
risk of crop stress.
FranceAgriMer's latest update showed soft wheat crops were
still running about a week behind their average growth pace of
recent years, despite expectations that the warm spell would
quicken their development.
However, traders have reported this week some initial
harvesting of winter barley near the west coast of France,
suggesting a similar time frame for the harvest to last year.
No winter barley harvesting was recorded in the week to June
14, with the good/excellent rating for crops unchanged at 76%.
Ratings for spring barley and grain maize were also stable,
at 86% and 91% respectively, FranceAgriMer said.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Forrest Crellin
Editing by David Evans and Mark Potter)