Bloomberg News

French Sugar-Beet Harvest Slowed by Unusually Wet October

November 06, 2012

French sugar-beet harvesting was slowed down by unusually wet weather last month, disrupting the supply of roots to processors, industry researcher Institut Technique de la Betterave said.

France’s sugar-beet growing regions on average received 112 millimeters (4.4 inches) of rain last month, 45 millimeters more than usual, the Paris-based institute wrote in a report on its website.

“These very wet conditions caused major disruption to the harvest and the supply of factories in all regions,” ITB wrote. “From the start of the month, harvest conditions were very difficult in all the sugar-beet regions due to the very heavy precipitation.”

France is the European Union’s largest sugar-beet producer, and most of the country’s beet crop is grown in the north of the country.

Some sugar factories lifted restrictions on soil content in beet cargoes to ensure supply, according to the ITB. Weather conditions for harvesting gradually improved after Oct. 20, the researcher reported.

The ITB reported last month that harvesting had started in the middle of September in difficult conditions due to dry soil, before rain at the end of the month improved fields.

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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