The heavy rainfall in France is causing significant issues for the wheat harvest. As Europe’s largest agricultural producer, France is expected to see its soft wheat harvest drop to its lowest level in four years.

The relentless rainfall has left French farmers in distress. The adverse weather conditions have increased the risk of diseases, leading to crop rot. The saturated fields make it difficult for machinery to operate, delaying the harvest and potentially reducing the quality of the yield.

According to data from the French Ministry of Agriculture, wheat production is expected to decrease by 15.4 percent this year, totaling 29.7 million tons. This is over 14 percent less than the average production of the past five years. “In the past twenty years, only two other harvests have failed to exceed 30 million tons, those in 2016 and 2020,” stated the ministry.

France predominantly produces soft wheat, which is used for making biscuits, breakfast cereals, and animal feed. In contrast, hard wheat is used for products like pasta, bread, bulgur, and couscous.

The drop in wheat production has significant implications for the global wheat market. France is one of the world’s top wheat exporters, and a reduced harvest could lead to increased wheat prices worldwide. Importers who rely on French wheat might need to look for alternative suppliers, potentially causing a shift in trading dynamics. Countries in North Africa and the Middle East, major importers of French wheat, may face supply shortages and increased costs, which could impact food prices and inflation in these regions.

Furthermore, the reduced supply could put upward pressure on the prices of products that use soft wheat, such as baked goods and cereals. This scenario could have a ripple effect, increasing the cost of living for consumers and affecting food manufacturers’ profit margins.