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EU Cuts Barley Outlook and Lifts Durum-Wheat Production Forecast

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April 28 (Bloomberg) -- European Union barley production is predicted to climb 2.4 percent, less than forecast a month ago, while the durum-wheat outlook was raised, according to the European Commission’s latest grain balance sheet.

Farmers in the 27-nation bloc are forecast to harvest 55.2 million metric tons of barley compared with 53.9 million tons in 2012, according to the EU data published online on April 26. That compares with a March outlook of 56 million tons.

Cold March weather delayed crop development by a month in France and more in the U.K. and extended winter dormancy in Germany and Poland, the EU’s crop-monitoring unit reported last week. The delay means the likelihood of realizing the full crop potential is “somewhat compromised,” it said.

Durum-wheat production is seen at 8.8 million tons, up from 8.5 million tons in 2012, compared with an earlier outlook for unchanged production.

This year’s soft-wheat crop is predicted to climb to 129.7 million tons from 123.3 million tons, with the outlook reduced by 100,000 tons from March. The outlook for wheat stockpiles at the end of June 2014 was cut by 600,000 tons to 9.7 million tons on lower beginning stocks.

The EU maintained its outlook for the corn crop to rise to 65.3 million tons from 55.4 million tons harvested last year. The rapeseed harvest in the region is seen rising to 21 million tons from 19.3 million tons, also unchanged.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net

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

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