Bad weather threatens 10-15% of Russian grain harvest in 2018

Bad weather threatens 10-15% of Russian grain harvest in 2018
Russia's harvest to fall by 10-15% this year due to a drought
By bne IntelliNews July 3, 2018

Russian GydroMedCenter weather forecast agency expects Russian grain harvest in 2018 to be 10-15% lower than in 2017 due to adverse weather and the condition of winter and spring crops, Reuters said on July 2.

Drought in the southern Russian regions of Rostov, Stavropol, and Volgograd coupled with extreme cold in Ural and Siberia, is threatening this year’s grain harvest, Vedomosti daily reports citing outlooks of several independent market watchers and the US Department of Agriculture.

Russia collected an all time record-high harvest of 134mn tonnes in 2017, which helped to keep food inflation low and brought $20bn in grain export revenues. Previous estimates showed that Russia is on track to bring in yet another solid grain harvest of 116.9mn tonnes.

However, now the domestic Agriculture Market Studies (IKAR) cut the harvest forecast for the second time this month from 117mn to 114mn tones for grains in general and from 73.5mn to 71.5mn for wheat in particular. The USDA cut the wheat harvest estimate for Russia by 5% to 68.5mn tonnes.

SovEkon analytic centre has also cut the grain harvest forecast from 124mn to 199.6mn tonnes, including for grain from 77mn to 73.1mn tonnes. The representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture have lowered the official harvest target to 110mn tonnes and it could fall as low as 100mn tonnes, according to Vedomosti, although compared to previous years that is still a healthy harvest.

Previously the head of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) Dmitry Rylko suggested that Russia’s export of grain may double to 52mn tonnes in the 2018 agricultural season. Within this number, the export of wheat is also expected to rise and account for 40mn tonnes of exports, which is a record figure. 

The hot weather is also affecting Ukraine where thanks to a drought in the southern regions of the country fears are rising that Ukraine’s grain harvest could be reduced by as much as half compared to last year.