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Weekly Roundup... 18 August, 2020

By Donna Ahern
Weekly Roundup... 18 August, 2020

Wheat harvesting is ending in major European producers Germany and Poland, with crop results looking better than bad harvests gathered in France and Britain. French consultancy Strategie Grains forecasts this year's soft wheat harvest in the European Union and Britain at 128 million tonnes, 13% down on 2019.In France, the EU's largest wheat producer, the crop has fallen by about 25% on 2019 to around 29-30 million tonnes, with yields damaged by spring drought and sowings reduced by torrential autumn rain.

Below average rainfall last week in most of top grower Ivory Coast’s cocoa regions is expected to support the development of the upcoming main crop, with harvesting set to begin early, farmers said on Monday. Farmers across the country said they were preparing to start harvesting this week ahead of the October-to-March main crop. Pods were ripening on trees, boosted by high soil moisture content from the ongoing rainy season, they said. The size and quality of the harvest will be good until November, but continued rainfall will be needed in September and October to extend that to December, they said. "Many farmers are preparing for the harvest," said Salame Kone, who farms in the western region of Soubre, at the heart of the cocoa belt. "We are going to start slowly, but it will pick up in a few weeks." Data collected by Reuters showed rainfall in Soubre at 9.6 millimetres (mm) last week, 5.4 mm below the five-year average.

Finnish retailer Kesko saw sales at its grocery business rise 5.4% in July, to €492.9 million, in what was a positive month for the retailer across the board. Grocery sales in the group's K-food stores increased by 9.0% in the month, while sales of home and specialty goods were up 5.8% in its K-Citymarket outlets. Its wholesale business, Kespro, saw sales down 5.8% however, due to coronavirus related restrictions and the continued closure of parts of the HoReCa sector. On a group level, Kesko saw sales up 2.4% to €970.7 million for the period, while in comparable terms, sales were up 6.4%. "In comparable terms, sales grew in all divisions. In the grocery trade, food sales continued to grow in K-food stores, also sales of home and speciality goods grew," commented Mikko Helander, Kesko’s president and CEO. "In the building and technical trade, sales grew in both B2C and B2B trade. Sales in the car trade grew by 14.0%."The group's Building and Technical Trade division posted sales of €394.5 million in July, an increase of 6.7% in comparable terms in local currencies, with sales up 8.5% in Finland, 6.0% in Sweden and 4.5% in Norway.

© 2020 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.

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