French crop growers say farm reform to threaten exports

France’s decision to shift European Union subsidies to less well-off livestock farmers will lower aid for crop growers and hit their competitiveness inside and outside the bloc, growers said Oct. 3.

In a speech at a livestock show in central France this week President Francois Hollande said nearly one billion euros ($1.4 billion) of mainly EU farm subsidies per year would be used to improve the revenues of livestock farmers who had faced high feed costs and low prices for several years.

Many crop growers, who benefited from higher prices in recent years, could lose out in the reform, mainly those with large farms after Hollande decided to give a subsidy bonus to smaller farms, which mainly covers livestock farms.

Grain growers reacted angrily to the plan, saying the loss of subsidies could cut their margins by 15-20 euros a tonne.

A tonne of milling wheat on the European futures market traded at around 195 euros ($270) on Thursday.

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