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Russian Grain Harvest Estimate Reduced by SovEcon on Drought

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s grain output estimate for the marketing year that starts July 1 was cut, due to drought, to a maximum of 85 million metric tons, including up to 50 million to 51 million tons of wheat, SovEcon said.

That’s down from SovEcon’s previous estimate of 87 million to 90 million tons of grain, including 53 million tons of wheat, Andrei Sizov Jr., the agricultural consultancy’s managing director, said by phone in Moscow today.

Winter crop loss for large agricultural companies came in higher than expected at about 11 percent, according to the state statistics data in June. That also led SovEcon to lower its forecast, Sizov said.

In Krasnodar, Russia’s biggest wheat exporting region, about 15 percent of winter crops were lost, up from the multi-year average of 1 percent to 2 percent, Sizov said. Drought continues in the south, and many regions started harvesting grains two weeks earlier than normal to collect seeds before they fall off, Sizov said.

“In some regions, like Volgograd in the south, the grain is light in weight, which means yields will be smaller than a year earlier,” he said.

Russia’s grain exports are expected to be less than 18 million tons in the new season and wheat exports are seen coming in under 14 million tons, Sizov said.

Last year, Russia’s grain crop was 94 million tons, including 56 million tons of wheat, according to the state statistics data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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