Strong rebound expected in the value of French agricultural production in 2021

The soaring prices of wheat, corn, barley, sugar and potatoes will be the honey of many French farmers in 2021. In any case, cereals and large-scale farmers. The good fortune of these sectors largely explains the strong rebound in the value of French agricultural production expected this year. It should increase by 7.5% to reach 81.2 billion euros, according to estimates published by INSEE on Wednesday, December 15.

Chinese buying fever, ups and downs in the global harvests, renewed appetite of speculators for agricultural raw materials, the explosive cocktail has ignited the prices of cereals and oilseed crops. So much so that in November, wheat traded at its all-time high on the European marketplace Euronext, exceeding the price of 300 euros per tonne. The corn followed suit towards the heights. Rapeseed, too, broke its record with a quotation of over 700 euros per tonne. At the same time, the harvests were correct, even generous. As a result, INSEE expects an increase of almost half the value of cereal production to 14.6 billion euros. The increase is almost similar for oilseeds, for a total of 3.6 billion.

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This performance more than compensates for the air gap in viticulture. The spring frost has ratiboised the harvest hopes of many winegrowers. The historic loss in volume is close to 20%, and even if prices are on the rise, the wine industry should experience a 13% decline in its activity, to 10.3 billion euros. Arborists were also affected by the polar cold of spring, but higher prices limited the withdrawal to 2.1%.

No improvement for breeding

In this table drawn up by INSEE, breeding does not benefit from any real improvement. The dairy sector shows an almost stable balance sheet, at 10.8 billion euros. The growth in production of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs was limited to 1.8% out of a total of 11.2 billion euros. As for poultry, it benefits from a revaluation of prices to increase by 3.5%, to 4.7 billion euros. Overall, INSEE estimates the weight of breeding in France at 26.8 billion euros, while plant production is almost double, at 49.4 billion euros.

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The rebound in French agricultural activity in 2021 comes, it is true, after two years of decline. In 2020, it had held up well, despite the crisis due to the coronavirus, but it still ended in decline of 1.9%. The Ministry of Agriculture looked at the financial situation of farms during this period. An exercise which is carried out on a representative sample of farms, excluding the smallest. It shows that the average income of farmers, defined as current income before tax per non-salaried worker, stands at 26,791 euros, down 10%, over the whole of 2020.

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