Rusagrotrans Puts Russian Grain Crop at Up to 95 Million Tons

Grain production in Russia, the third biggest wheat exporter last season, may be 75 million to 95 million metric tons in the 2013-14 marketing year, according to ZAO Rusagrotrans, the nation’s top grain rail carrier.

Winter planting may be 16.4 million hectares (40.5 million acres), Igor Pavensky, head of the analytical department at Rusagrotrans, said by e-mail today. That’s up almost 700,000 hectares from last year, according to his estimates. Spring grain planting may be up 1 million hectares to 31.4 million hectares in 2013 because of higher prices, he said.

Dry weather has the potential to curb output in Russia’s three main grain exporting regions, in Rostov, Stavropol and Krasnodar, according to the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, a research company in Moscow. Up to a quarter of winter crops failed to sprout after drought in all three areas this year, it said. Under moderate weather conditions, Russia’s crop may be about 83 million tons, Pavensky said.

Last year, Russia’s harvest was 94.2 million tons, while this year farmers have harvested about 73 million tons by Nov. 7, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Russia will export 10 million tons of wheat this season, making it the fifth largest shipper of the grain after the U.S., Canada, the European Union and Australia, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. That is down from record wheat exports of 21.6 million tons a year earlier, making it the third biggest shipper, USDA data show.

Wheat for December delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $8.805 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 10:25 a.m. Moscow time. Prices have climbed 35 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow at msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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