May 15, 2020 / 12:10 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-German 2020 wheat harvest seen down, rapeseed up

(Adds detail, comment)

HAMBURG, May 15 (Reuters) - Germany’s 2020 wheat crop of all types will fall 2.9% on the year to 22.38 million tonnes, the country’s association of farm cooperatives said in its latest harvest estimate on Friday.

That’s down from 22.73 million tonnes in its last forecast in April after crops suffered from dry weather, while estimates of planted area have also been scaled back.

The association forecast Germany’s 2020 winter rapeseed crop would rise 14.9% from last summer’s especially poor crop to 3.24 million tonnes. That’s down from 3.34 million tonnes estimated in April.

Rainfall in the past two weeks has helped to compensate for unusually dry spring weather, the association said. But more is needed in some regions.

Germany is the European Union’s second largest wheat producer after France and in most years the EU’s largest producer of rapeseed, Europe’s main oilseed for edible oil and biodiesel production.

Germany’s wheat crop could cut the country’s export surplus in the next year, the association said. But domestic supplies for bread production during the coronavirus crisis are expected to be ample, it said.

The winter barley crop, mostly used for animal feed, will fall 4% on the year to 9.37 million tonnes following a reduction in sowings and expected lower yields per hectare, the association said.

The spring barley crop, used in beer and malt production, is forecast to increase 6.3% to 1.94 million tonnes.

The grain maize (corn) crop will rise 19.3% to 4.37 million tonnes because of an increase in planted area and an expected yield improvement, the association forecast. (Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Mark Potter)

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