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Jun 01, 2020 PRINT EDITION

PARIS: Grain industry lobby Coceral on Tuesday raised its forecast for EU soft wheat in 2019, due to improved weather conditions, and lifted maize output estimates on sharply increased harvest prospects in Romania and Germany.

It pegged the soft wheat harvest at 140.3 million tonnes, up from its previous forecast of 139.8 million made in March.

That compared with a drought-hit 2018, crop of 127.4 million tonnes, data published on Coceral's website showed.

"After a dry fall in 2018 and a dry period of six weeks in March and April, growing conditions have stabilized recently thanks to rains," Coceral said.

For other cereals, it raised its projection of EU maize (corn) production to 62.9 million tonnes, from 61.0 million tonnes in March.

It now expects Romania's maize crop at 11.5 million tonnes, up from 10.8 million tonnes estimated in March, and pegged Germany's crop at 4.1 million tonnes, up from 3.6 million seen three months ago.

Coceral cut its estimate of this year's EU barley crop to 59.0 million tonnes from 59.4 million tonnes in March. This included 28.7 million tonnes of spring barley, down from 29.0 million seen in March.

In oilseeds, Coceral reduced its rapeseed production forecast to 17.9 million tonnes from 18.5 million in March due to a sharp reduction in the French crop.

Copyright Reuters, 2019