Corn Planting to Rise in Europe, North America, Vilmorin Says

Corn sowing probably will rise in Europe and North America as higher prices prompt farmers to plant more of the grain, according to Vilmorin & Cie., Europe’s second-largest seed company.

“We’ll see a slight increase in the surface of corn, not only in Europe but also in North America,” Chief Executive Officer Adrian Huige said at a press conference in Paris today.

Corn futures jumped 81 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade in the past 12 months, lifted by rising demand for the grain from U.S. ethanol makers. Corn traded on NYSE Liffe in Paris advanced 75 percent in the same span.

Planting of corn in Europe this spring is forecast to increase 4 percent to 5 percent, Chief Financial Officer Daniel Jacquemond said at the conference.

“There is in principle a bit less area dedicated to rapeseed,” Jacquemond said. “It’s not an arbitration to the detriment of sunflowers or wheat.”

Basel, Switzerland-based Syngenta AG is Europe’s largest seed company.

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