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Spain Braces for Bumper Grain Crop

July 26, 2013
durum wheat

Spain, Europe’s biggest grain importer, may reap its largest cereal crop in more than two decades after a wet spring boosted soil moisture in a country where output can fall by half or double from year to year based on rainfall.

Spanish farmers may gather 23.9 million metric tons of grain this year, 1.64 million tons more than forecast in June and compared with a harvest of 15.5 million tons in 2012, farm- industry group Cooperatives Agro-Alimentarias wrote in an outlook today. That would be the most since at least 1990.

The country had its fifth-wettest spring this year since 1947, with 55 percent more rain that usual from March to May, according to the Madrid-based national weather office. That follows a drought last year that resulted in the smallest grain crop in seven years.

"These data will guarantee a regular supply of grains in our country throughout the season," Agro-Alimentarias wrote. "Barley continues to be the main grain produced."

Spain’s barley production is forecast to climb to 9.83 million tons from 5.66 million tons last year, according to the group. That’s up from a June outlook for 8.85 million tons.

The soft-wheat crop may rise to 6.92 million tons from 4.36 million tons, while production of the harder durum variety used in pasta may jump to 1.01 million tons from 404,457 tons. The forecasts were raised from 6.61 million tons for soft wheat and 941,899 tons for durum.

The country’s corn harvest is seen advancing to 4.33 million tons from 3.81 million tons, compared with a June outlook for 4.01 million tons.

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