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German winter wheat sowed area for 2018 crop down 5.6 pct on yr

HAMBURG, May 15 (Reuters) - Germany's winter wheat sown area
for the 2018 harvest has been reduced by 5.6 percent to about
2.95 million hectares, Germany’s national statistics office said
on Tuesday.

The office had in December estimated a 4.7 percent
reduction.

A reduction had been expected after repeated autumn rain
prevented some farmers from carrying out their planting
intentions.

Winter rapeseed sowings were reduced by 3.4 percent to 1.25
million hectares, the agency said. Rapeseed farmers also saw
autumn sowings hit by persistent rain, especially in north
Germany.

Germany is the European Union's second-largest wheat
producer and exporter. In most years it is the EU's largest
producer of rapeseed, Europe's most important oilseed for edible
oil and biodiesel production.

Grain maize (corn) sowings increased by 7.4 percent to
463,000 hectares, it said.

Plantings of silo maize, a major crop used for farm feed and
biogas output and not generally sold on the market, were
increased 2.6 percent to 2.14 million hectares.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Louise Heavens)

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