France slashes sugar beet crop forecast by 10%

France’s farm ministry on Monday cut by 10% its forecast for the country’s ongoing sugar beet harvest as it factored in further effects of crop disease and drought.

It is reported by Reuters.

This year’s sugar beet crop was now projected at 27б2 million tonnes, down from 30б5 million expected last month and 28% below 2019 output, the ministry said in a monthly crop report.

The ministry had already reduced its sugar beet forecast by 1б7 million tonnes last month due to the impact of jaundice disease, which is spread by aphids, and summer drought.

Sugar companies had delayed production runs at some factories to give crops a chance to recoup yield, but harvesting has shown worse than expected results in some zones.

The average sugar beet yield this year was now seen at 64б9 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), down from 85б1 t/ha last year and the lowest since 2001, the ministry said.