EU Cuts Wheat and Barley Inventory Forecasts as Exports Climb

European Union wheat and barley inventories at the end of the current season will be smaller than forecast earlier this month after exports of the grains increased, the European Commission said.

Stockpiles of wheat will drop to 10 million metric tons by June 30, the EU’s executive arm said in a report dated Jan. 25 and sent by e-mail today. That compares with a Jan. 3 forecast of 10.4 million tons and year-earlier supplies of 10.5 million tons, commission figures showed.

EU wheat exports may total 14.9 million tons during the 2012-13 season, above the prior estimate of 14 million tons, according to the report. The bloc is the world’s third-largest wheat shipper, after the U.S. and Canada, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Milling-wheat futures jumped 27 percent last year on NYSE Liffe in Paris as drought slashed grain supplies in the U.S., Russia and eastern Europe.

The commission cut its outlook for 2012-13 barley stocks to 6 million tons from 6.1 million tons. Barley exports may be 5.5 million tons, up from the previous 5 million-ton estimate.

Corn inventories were pegged at 12.1 million tons, above the earlier forecast of 11.4 million tons, while the estimate for imports of the grain was raised to 9 million tons from 8 million tons, according to the report.

Total grain stockpiles at the end of the season may be 31.1 million tons, up from the prior forecast of 30.7 million tons, as estimates for rye supplies also were raised.

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