Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Spain, Europe’s second-largest wheat buyer, increased imports of the grain by 4.9 percent in October from a year ago and lifted corn purchases 4.2 percent.
The country imported 439,298 metric tons of wheat in the month, compared with 418,889 tons in October 2011, according to trade data published by the government this week. Corn imports rose to 416,149 tons from 399,343 tons.
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 October dropped to 2.21 million tons, from 2.73 million tons in the first four months of the previous season. The country imported a total of 6.11 million tons of wheat in the 2011-12 crop year.
Corn purchases in the first four months of the 2012-13 season amounted to 1.25 million tons, up from 1.17 million tons a year earlier. Spain bought 5.59 million tons of corn in 2011-12, trade data show.
The country imported 29,972 tons of barley in October, compared with 18,257 tons a year earlier.
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