World Grain - December 2020 - 20

COUNTRY FOCUS

FOCUS ON

FRANCE
Grain production in 2020 sharply
declines due to poor weather
by Chris Lyddon

France is traditionally an important player on the world's
grains market, supplying a range of markets, particularly
in the nearby countries of North Africa, with which it has a
close trading relationship. However, in 2020, poor weather
conditions led to a spectacularly poor crop, sharply reducing
the surplus available to the largest European Union Member
State, by area.
The International Grains Council (IGC) put France's total
2020-21 grains production at 57.6 million tonnes in its Oct.
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of 59 million. The previous year's output was 71 million.
The IGC put total wheat production at 30.5 million tonnes,
down from its earlier forecast of 30.8 million, and also down
from 41.1 million in 2019-20.
The 2020-21 maize crop was put at 13.6 million tonnes,
down from the previous forecast of 14 million, but up on the
12.8 million harvested the year before.
France's barley crop is forecast at 10.5 million tonnes,
down on the earlier prediction of 11.2 million
and on the previous year's 13.7 million.
Sorghum production is put at
600,000 tonnes, unchanged from
the earlier forecast, but up from
400,000 in 2019-20.
According to the IGC,
French rapeseed production in 2020-21 is 3.3
million tonnes, an unchanged estimate, which
compares with 3.5 million the year before.
The French agency
FranceAgriMer forecasts
the country's total 202021 soft wheat exports at
13.477 million tonnes, down
from 21.246 million the year
before. Durum wheat exports are
20

KEY FACTS
Capital: Paris
Population: 62,814,233
Religions: Christian (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic)
63-66%, Muslim 7-9%, Buddhist 0.5-0.75%, Jewish
0.5-0.75%, other 0.5-1.0%, none 23-28% (2015 est.).
Location: Western Europe, bordering the Bay of
Biscay and English Channel, between Belgium and
Spain, southeast of the UK; bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Italy and Spain.
Government: Semi-presidential republic. Chief of
state: President Emmanuel Macron (since May 14,
2017); head of government: Prime Minister Jean
Castex (since July 3, 2020).
Economy: The French economy is diversified across
all sectors. The government has partially or fully privatized many large companies, including Air France,
France Telecom, Renault, and Thales. However, the
government maintains a strong presence in some
sectors, particularly power, public transport, and defense industries. France is the most visited country in
the world with 89 million foreign tourists in 2017.
France's leaders remain committed to a capitalism in
which they maintain social equity by means of laws,
tax policies, and social spending that mitigate economic inequality. France's real GDP grew by 1.9% in
2017, up from 1.2% the year before. The unemployment rate (including overseas territories) increased
from 7.8% in 2008 to 10.2% in 2015, before falling
to 9% in 2017. Youth unemployment in metropolitan
France decreased from 24.6% in the fourth quarter
of 2014 to 20.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
France's public finances historically has been strained
by high spending and low growth. In 2017, the budget deficit improved to 2.7% of GDP, bringing it in
compliance with the EU-mandated 3% deficit target.
Meanwhile, France's public debt rose from 89.5% of
GDP in 2012 to 97% in 2017. Since entering office
in May 2017, President Emmanuel Macron launched
a series of economic reforms to improve competitiveness and boost economic growth. President Macron
campaigned on reforming France's labor code and in
late 2017 implemented a range of reforms to increase
flexibility in the labor market by making it easier for
firms to hire and fire and simplifying negotiations between employers and employees. In addition to labor
reforms, President Macron's 2018 budget cuts public spending, taxes, and social security contributions
to spur private investment and increase purchasing
power. The government plans to gradually reduce corporate tax rate for businesses from 33.3% to 25%
by 2022.
GDP per capita:  $44,100 (2017 est.); inflation:
1.2% (2017 est.); unemployment: 9.4% (2017 est.).
Currency: Euros (EUR): 0.844 euros equal 1 US dollar (Nov. 20, 2020).
Exports: $549.9 billion (2017 est.): machinery and
transportation equipment, aircraft, plastics, chemicals,
pharmaceutical products, iron and steel, beverages.
Imports: $601.7 billion (2017 est.): machinery
and equipment, vehicles, crude oil, aircraft, plastics,
chemicals.
Agriculture: 1.7% (2017 est.) of GDP and 2.8%
(2016 est.) of the labor force.
Internet: Code: .fr; 55,265,718 users.
Source: CIA World Factbook

December 2020 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com


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World Grain - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - December 2020

World Grain - December 2020 - 1
World Grain - December 2020 - 1
World Grain - December 2020 - 2
World Grain - December 2020 - 3
World Grain - December 2020 - 4
World Grain - December 2020 - 5
World Grain - December 2020 - 6
World Grain - December 2020 - 7
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