Spain’s Wheat Imports Fell 38% in September as Corn Buying Rose

Spain, Europe’s second-largest wheat buyer, cut imports of the grain by 38 percent in September from a year earlier, while increasing corn purchases.

The country imported 695,429 metric tons of wheat in the month, compared with 1.12 million tons in September 2011, according to trade data published by the government this week. Imports in the year-earlier period were the highest for a single month since August 2005.

Spain’s grain imports are expected to climb 20 percent in the 2012-13 season after drought reduced the local cereal harvest, farm and food-industry group Cooperatives Agro-Alimentarias said in July. Italy was the European Union’s largest wheat importer last season, trade data show.

Spanish wheat imports from July through to September dropped to 1.77 million tons, from 2.25 million tons in the first three months of the previous season. The country imported a total of 6.11 million tons of wheat in the 2011-12 crop year.

September corn imports rose to 215,517 tons, from 173,854 tons a year earlier. Purchases in the first three months of the 2012-13 season amounted to 830,210 tons, up from 742,546 tons a year earlier. Spain bought 5.59 million tons of corn in 2011-12, trade data show.

The country imported 22,362 tons of barley in September, compared with 28,326 tons a year earlier.

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