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Strategie Grains cuts EU wheat crop by 2 mln T after heatwave

PARIS, July 11 (Reuters) - Consultancy Strategie Grains reduced its monthly forecast of this year's European Union soft wheat harvest by more than 2 million tonnes as it factored in a late-June heatwave that brought record temperatures to western Europe.

The firm's analysts pegged 2019 EU soft wheat production at 140.6 million tonnes, down from 142.8 million projected last month but 11% above a drought-hit 2018 volume.

Other forecasters have also trimmed estimates for this year's EU wheat harvest following the heatwave, although the extreme temperatures were not thought to have lasted long enough to cause severe crop losses as seen during last year's drought.

In its monthly grain report, Strategie Grains also cut its forecast for this year's EU grain maize production, to 62.7 million tonnes from 63.4 million, as it also anticipated that maize crops suffered from the recent heatwave.

The reduced forecast was still above estimated 2018 production of 61.7 million tonnes.

For barley, expected EU production was trimmed to 59.3 million tonnes from 59.6 million last month, keeping it well above last year's crop of 55.7 million.

Harvesting of winter barley is well under way in the EU and analysts expect that these crops escaped damage from the heatwave as they were already mature.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Valerie Parent Editing by Edmund Blair)

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