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Larger German 2022 wheat and rapeseed crops forecast despite heatwave

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HAMBURG (Reuters) -Germany's 2022 wheat crop will increase 5.3% on the year to 22.51 million tonnes despite a recent heatwave and dryness, the country's association of farm cooperatives said in its latest harvest estimate on Thursday.

The association forecast Germany's 2022 winter rapeseed crop will rise 8.2% from last summer's crop to 3.77 million tonnes.

In its previous forecast in June, the association had estimated Germany's 2022 wheat crop at 22.65 million tonnes and the winter rapeseed crop at 3.78 million tonnes.

Dry, hot weather had stressed German grains so the forecast had been cut slightly, the association said. But an average German grains harvest is still expected.

"Can Germany with its harvest this year make a contribution to global grain supplies, which are facing an ever growing supply gap because of the war in Ukraine?" the association said. "According to our forecast this is possible."

Germany is the European Union's second largest wheat producer after France and a major grain exporter.

But Germany is facing serious transport and logistics bottlenecks, partly because of the turmoil in energy markets after the Ukraine war, it said.

Germany fears a stop to Russian gas supplies and has decided to use more coal-fired power to help fill the gap.

The need bring coal to power stations is removing large numbers of trucks from grain transport, the association said.

Many inland waterways vessels are also being switched to transporting Ukraine's grain exports via rivers to east Europe for re-export as Ukrainian seaports remain closed, it said.

Germany's winter barley crop, mostly used for animal feed, is approaching its end in some areas with harvest volume and quality better than anticipated, it said.

The winter barley crop will fall 0.5% on the year to 8.84 million tonnes following a reduction in sowings, the association said.

(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by David Evans)

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