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French wheat quality survey confirms high protein, low density

PARIS - Farm office FranceAgriMer left wheat quality ratings nearly unchanged in its latest survey released on Wednesday, with the 2016 harvest in the EU's largest producer still expected to show particularly high protein and poor grain density.

The update, carried out with technical institute Arvalis, was based on samples gathered by Sept. 5, representing about 90 percent of the total samples due to be collected in the survey.

It showed 24 percent of the crop had a specific weight, a measure of density, above 76 kg per hectolitre (kg/hl), up from 23 percent in last week's report but sharply down on a five-year average of 80 percent.

For protein levels, FranceAgriMer estimated 63 percent of the crop was above 12.5 percent, down from 64 percent last week but well above a five-year average of just 3 percent.

Protein levels tend to rise when yields are low and France harvested one of its worst wheat crops in years after heavy rainfall in late May and early June hit yields.

FranceAgriMer's report also showed that 75 percent of the harvest tested had Hagberg falling numbers - a measure of the milling quality of wheat - equal or above 240 seconds, unchanged from last week and slightly above the average of 73 percent.

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