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Russian Weather Seen Below Average for Crops in July by Center

Climate conditions for crop development in parts of Russia’s Volga and Southern federal districts and portions of West Siberia will be worse than the multiyear average this month, the national weather center said.

The areas include the eastern Volga district, the Southern district’s northeast and the southernmost part of West Siberia, the Moscow-based Federal Hydrometeorological Center said on its website. Conditions will be near average elsewhere in the country, it said.

Weather was dry and hot in most parts of the Southern and North Caucasus federal districts in the June 9-27 period, the center said. Some grain in fields there was lowered to feed quality, it said.

While drought in the Volga district that persisted in May and June’s first half was stopped by rains in the region’s east, other local areas continued to suffer from a lack of moisture last month, according to the center. In West Siberia, weather was unfavorable for crop development in the western part of the Altai region and southern Omsk in June because of dryness, the center said.

The Southern, Volga and North Caucasus federal districts accounted for 57.3 percent of Russia’s national grain crop last year with a combined harvest of 54 million metric tons, according to government statistics. Siberia’s Altai and Omsk regions were among the country’s top 10 grain-growing areas last year after respectively reaping 3.9 million and 3.4 million tons of cereals, the figures show.

Russia will harvest 85 million tons of grains this year, down from 94 million tons in 2011, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov said June 25.

Wheat for September delivery closed at $7.9925 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade on July 3. Trading was shut yesterday for the Independence Day holiday and will resume today at 9:30 a.m. local time.

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