EU Soft-Wheat Crop Seen Up 4.2% by Coceral on Spain and Romania

European Union soft-wheat production is forecast to climb 4.2 percent, grain industry association Coceral said, lifting its outlook on higher estimates for Spain and Black Sea region growers including Romania.

Farmers in the EU may reap 130.7 million metric tons of soft wheat this year from 125.4 million tons in 2012, Brussels-based Coceral wrote in an updated outlook, lifting its forecast from 127.8 million tons in March.

Spain, Europe’s largest grain importer, had its fifth- wettest spring since 1947, with March-May rainfall 55 percent higher than usual, the country’s weather office said. Rain in Romania and Hungary lifted soil moisture after drought hurt production last year.

“We’re seeing in Europe that the weather is rather good,” said Paul Gaffet, an analyst at Offre & Demande Agricole in Bourges, France. “More rainfall in Spain and the European side of the Black Sea.”

Spain’s soft-wheat production may climb to 6.29 million tons from 4.6 million tons, up from a March forecast for a harvest of 5.11 million tons, according to Coceral.

Romania’s crop may advance to 6.83 million tons from 5.48 million tons, better than the 6.14 million tons forecast three months ago, while Hungary’s harvest may climb to 5.04 million tons from 3.93 million tons, up from a March outlook for 4.31 million tons. Bulgaria may grow 4.63 tons of soft wheat from 4.38 million tons last year, the forecast showed.

French Harvest

Soft-wheat production in France, the EU’s biggest grower, is expected to slip to 35.7 million tons from 35.8 million tons, compared with a March forecast for the crop to climb to 35.9 million tons.

German farmers will gather 23.6 million tons of soft wheat from 22.3 million tons last year, with the outlook little changed, according to Coceral.

The outlook for Poland, which suffered frost damage last year, was raised by 136,000 tons to 9.2 million tons, from 8.37 tons harvested in 2012. U.K. production may drop to 11.8 million tons from 13.3 million tons, down from a March forecast of 12 million tons.

“The big problem is in the U.K., where the area is reduced and the potential is less good,” Gaffet said.

Coceral’s forecast included Croatia, which is set to become the 28th EU member as of July 1, and where output is seen rising to 907,000 tons from 744,000 tons.

EU farm lobby Copa-Cogeca said in a separate forecast soft-wheat production in the 27-nation bloc will rise 3.2 percent to 126.9 million tons from 122.9 million tons on bigger crops in Germany, Spain, Romania and Hungary. The group forecast output will fall to 35 million tons in France.

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