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EU Forecasts 2012 Wheat Harvest to Rise 2% to 131.4 Million Tons

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April 4 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union soft-wheat harvest will rise 2 percent this year, with ending stocks forecast to climb on lower use of the grain as animal feed, according to the European Commission.

Soft-wheat production in the 27-nation bloc may rise to 131.4 million metric tons from 128.8 million metric tons last year, according to documents dated March 30 and published on the commission’s website.

Stocks of soft wheat may climb to 13.8 million tons at the end of June 2013 from 10.1 million tons a year earlier, with feed use falling by 2 million tons to 53 million tons, according to the documents.

Output of durum wheat, the hard variety used to make pasta and couscous, may climb to 8.4 million tons from 8.1 million tons, the commission said. The EU barley harvest is forecast to climb to 54.7 million tons from 51.3 million tons.

EU corn production may slide to 62.2 million tons from 66.8 million tons, with ending stocks falling to 9.3 million tons from 13.2 million tons, according to the documents.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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