Russia’s Grain Harvest Seen by SovEcon as Falling on Low Yields

Russia, last season’s third biggest wheat exporter, may have a grain crop of less than 70 million metric tons because weather-damaged yields are lower than in 2010 when the country had the worst drought in at least 50 years, SovEcon said.

“The question of whether we can harvest 70 million tons has arisen,” Moscow-based researcher SovEcon said on its website today.

Average grain yields are seen falling to 1.87 tons a hectare (2.47 acres), down from 2.58 tons a hectare last year and less than in 2010, when drought damaged crops across the country, prompting a grain export ban for more than 10 months, SovEcon said.

Russia harvested 56 million tons of grains from 29.9 million hectares, or 67 percent of the sown area, by Sept. 4, SovEcon said, citing Agriculture Ministry data. That’s an 18.5 million ton decrease from crops on a comparable area a year earlier, SovEcon said.

About 33.4 million tons of the wheat crop was harvested, down 12.5 million tons from 2011, it said. The total crop is seen coming in below the one in 2010, SovEcon said. Farmers harvested 41.5 million tons of the cereal two years ago, according to state statistics data.

Wheat for December delivery declined 0.5 percent to $8.84 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 4:27 p.m. Moscow time. It’s advanced 35 percent this year.

Russia’s wheat exports may drop to 8 million tons this season from 21.6 million tons in the last marketing year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated. That would make the country the fifth biggest shipper after the U.S., Australia, Canada and the European Union, according to the USDA.

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