Bloomberg News

French Farm Exports Slip for Third Month as Grain Shipments Slow

June 12, 2012

France’s farm and food exports, the world’s fifth-biggest by value, fell for a third month in April as wheat and barley shipments declined.

Exports of farm products and food slipped to 4.58 billion euros ($5.7 billion) from 4.6 billion euros a year earlier, the Agriculture Ministry wrote in an online report today.

France is the largest farm producer in the European Union and trails the U.S., Netherlands, Germany and Brazil in value of agricultural exports, World Trade Organization data show. Farm products and food contributed a current-account surplus of 826 million euros in April, down 52 million euros from April 2011.

“Exported volumes of soft wheat, durum wheat and barley are strongly down,” the ministry said.

France’s grain exports excluding rice fell to 534 million euros from 693 million euros in April last year, the ministry reported. The value of soft-wheat exports slumped 26 percent on lower prices and a 14 percent drop in shipped volumes.

Oilseed and protein-crop exports rose to 124 million euros from 104 million euros, the ministry said.

Wine and champagne shipments climbed to 608 million euros from 524 million euros, while overall beverage exports rose to 1.07 billion euros from 925 million euros, helped by demand for cognac, according to the ministry. Cognac exports jumped 39 percent, the report showed.

France imported 3.76 billion euros of agricultural goods and food in the month, compared with 3.73 billion euros in April 2011, the ministry said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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