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German Wheat Crop Seen Falling 6.2% on Winter Kill by DRV

Germany’s wheat harvest, the European Union’s second-biggest, may slide 6.2 percent, more than predicted a month ago on greater-than-expected winter damage, farm organization Deutscher Raiffeisenverband e.V. said.

Production is forecast to fall to 21.4 million metric tons from 22.8 million tons after winter kill caused by freezing weather cut the growing area, the Berlin-based farm group wrote in an e-mailed report today.

Germany, France and Poland suffered wheat-area losses in February as temperatures dropped below -18 degrees Celsius (-0.4 degrees Fahrenheit). That’s pushed the price of Paris-traded milling wheat above Chicago futures.

“The expected harvest amount will mathematically only just cover domestic consumption, so import requirements will rise,” DRV head Henning Ehlers was cited as saying.

The winter wheat area in Germany fell 9.5 percent to 2.87 million hectares (7.1 million acres), more than the 7.3 percent decline in planting estimated in May, according to the DRV. France is the EU’s largest wheat grower.

German barley production is expected to rise 3.2 percent to 9.01 million tons from 8.73 million tons in 2011. The group had previously forecast production would advance 6.3 percent.

The rapeseed harvest may increase 18 percent to 4.52 million tons from 3.83 million tons a year earlier, DRV said. The outlook was raised from a 12 percent gain predicted in May as the DRV lifted estimates for yields and planted area.

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