Egypt’s Wheat Crop May Rise 1.1% to 8.46 Million Tons

Egypt’s wheat production is forecast to rise 1.1 percent this year as farmers plant more and use improved seeds, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization said.

Farmers may harvest 8.46 million metric tons of wheat from 8.37 million tons in 2011, the Rome-based UN agency wrote in a report on its website on Thursday. The outlook for winter crops to be harvested from May is “generally favorable,” the FAO said.

Egypt’s domestic wheat is mostly irrigated. The country is the world’s largest importer of the grain, with shipments forecast to climb to 10.5 million tons in the year through June from 10.4 million tons in 2010-11, the according to data from the International Grains Council.

“The good wheat-crop performance was due to larger planted area and to the increased use of improved seeds which contributed to increase yields,” the FAO wrote.

Egypt harvested an above-average wheat crop last year, according to the FAO.

Corn production in 2012 is forecast to climb 3.1 percent to 7.55 million tons from 7.32 million tons, while paddy production of rice is seen unchanged at 5.8 million tons, according to the FAO.