German 2010 grain harvest down sharply

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Harvests in Germany, Europe's second largest producer of grain, are down sharply, an industry group said on Wednesday, adding to pressure on prices after Russia banned exports due to drought.

The grain harvest was down 11.8 percent compared to 2009, the German Famers' Association (DBV) said in a statement, due to a long winter and a rainy summer.

"After cereals matured quickly in June and July due to the extreme dryness and high temperatures, the harvest fell victim to abundant rain in August," DBV president Klaus Kliem said.

The harvest in 2010 was 4.5 percent lower than the average over the period 2005 to 2009, the federation added.

German farmers harvested 43.9 million tonnes of grain in 2010, compared to 49.7 million tonnes the previous year.

Grain prices have climbed on commodities markets recently owing to record drought and wild fires in Russia which recently announced a ban on all exports for the rest of this year to protect its home market.

© 2010 AFP

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