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U.K. Wheat Imports Surge in December After Production Drops

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. was a net-importer of wheat for a seventh-straight month in December, after excess rain reduced the past season’s harvest.

Wheat purchases climbed to 305,584 metric tons in December, more than triple the amount in the same month a year earlier and up 36 percent from November, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said today in an e-mailed report, citing customs figures. Exports for the month dropped to 35,130 tons, the lowest since August. Cumulative imports since the marketing year began July 1 totaled 1.342 million tons, against exports of 512,129 tons.

The U.K. had its second-wettest year on record in 2012, according to the Met Office, the national weather forecaster. Farmers harvested 13.26 million tons of the grain, 13 percent less than a year earlier, according to the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Germany was the biggest supplier of wheat to the U.K. during December at 107,004 tons, followed by Canada at 55,091 tons, according to today’s report. The U.S. shipped 18,492 tons, ranking it fifth, behind Denmark and France, AHDB said.

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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