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U.K. Spring-Bean Planting Seen Set to Jump 50% After Rainfall

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Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. farmers may plant 50 percent more spring bean crops this year than in 2012 following wet weather that prevented seeding last autumn, said Frontier Agriculture Ltd.

The price premium commanded by beans over wheat will narrow to about 35 pounds ($55) a metric ton, Frontier, a joint venture of Cargill Inc. and Associated British Foods Plc, said today in a statement on its website. The Witham St. Hughs, England-based grain marketer said the area sown with winter beans probably declined about 15 percent to 20 percent.

“Even at these levels, it’s a great starting point for marketing the crop, especially when there are opportunities for additional human-consumption premiums,” pulse trader Andy Bury said in the statement. “Demand for human-consumption beans will remain strong, providing we supply the right quality.”

Lower price levels may stimulate demand from livestock producers, who might substitute domestic beans for more expensive soybean meal, according to the report. Seed supplies for both beans and peas will be tight in the U.K. in coming months, Frontier said.

The company controls 25 percent of the nation’s grain market and has an equal share of the seed market, according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at wmcferron1@bloomberg.net

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

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