Wheat sowings in the European Union, the top producer of the crop, will buck a trend of decreased grain and oilseed plantings for the 2014 harvest, Strategie Grains said.
European Union soft wheat area, which was flat this year at a little over 23m hectares, will rise some 3% for the 2014 harvest, the Paris-based analysis group said.
The forecast, which is more upbeat than an estimate from the International Grains Council of "little change" in EU wheat area, reflects benign planting conditions for winter crops, in contrast to a 2012 autumn sowing season which was unduly wet in many western countries.
French farmers completed 23% of soft wheat plantings as of Friday, compared with 12% a year before, according to data from FranceAgriMer, the official crop bureau.
Corn, barley slumps
However, the extra sowings will reduce the area left for spring crops, which will also be reduced by an increase of some 300,000 hectares in uncultivated area, thanks to the dent to margin prospects from a pullback in crop prices.
EU corn sowings will fall by some 5%, said Strategie Grains, which pegs area this year at 9.7m hectares, little changed on that in 2012.
Spring barley plantings, lifted this year in the UK especially by the extent of land left unplanted thanks to a dismal 2012 autumn sowing period, will fall by 7%.
Overall grain plantings will ease by 1% to 56.7m hectares.
The group pegged oilseeds sowings down 100,000 hectares at 12.1m hectares.