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Russia Grain Crop Estimates Fall as Rains Impede Farms’ Work

Aug. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s grain crop forecasts were lowered by consultants as showers are forecast to continue and excessive moisture in fields hampers harvesting.

The grain crop will be 92.1 million to 93.7 million metric tons in the 2013-14 season begun July 1 after rains impeded reaping, said Igor Pavensky, head of the analytical department at ZAO Rusagrotrans, the biggest grain carrier by rail. That compares with a July forecast of 94 million to 96 million, Pavensky said by phone from Moscow today.

OOO ProZerno, the Moscow-based agricultural consultancy, lowered its forecast to 91.5 million tons from 92.4 million tons last month, Vladimir Petrichenko, the company’s director general, said by phone today.

Rains earlier this month delayed harvesting across the central and Volga areas, according to state weather center data. The Agriculture Ministry lowered its crop forecast on Aug. 14 to 90 million tons from its target of 95 million tons. The average milling wheat price rose 2.7 percent in European Russia last week, according to SovEcon consultancy data. Wheat for December delivery fell 0.8 percent to $6.4425 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 5:58 p.m. Moscow time.

“There were cases when fields were flooded and harvesters couldn’t enter,” Gulfira Rizayeva, executive director at a branch of Russia’s Peasants and Farmers Association in Tatarstan Republic, said by phone from Kazan today.

Showers continue and are forecast in Perm, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan regions in the Volga area through the weekend, and rains are seen today at the Black-Earth regions of Tambov and Voronezh in the center, the weather center said on its website today.

Corn

Rains helped development of late crops such as corn, Rusagrotrans’ Pavensky and ProZerno’s Petrichenko said, raising their forecasts.

The corn harvest is expected to be a record of at least 9.6 million tons, Pavensky said. That compares to his July forecast of 9 million to 9.5 million tons. ProZerno sees the corn harvest at more than 9.7 million tons, compared with a previous estimate of 9.2 million tons, Petrichenko said. Russia had a record corn crop in 2012 after it harvested 8.2 million tons, according to the state statistics data.

Corn dropped 1.3 percent to $4.6625 a bushel in Chicago.

Editor:

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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