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Rain Slows Wheat Sowing, Erodes Sunflowers in Black Sea Region

Oct. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Sunflower crops in Russia and Ukraine face damage after excess rain, while prospects for next year’s production of wheat deteriorated as planting slowed, Oil World said.

Only 26 percent of Russia’s sunflower area was harvested as of Oct. 10, equal to a multi-year low of 1.88 million hectares (4.6 million acres), the Hamburg-based researcher said. Production so far is about 3.66 million metric tons, compared with 6 million tons collected at the same time last year. Ukraine’s harvest was 66 percent complete, compared with 88 percent a year earlier.

“Too wet conditions had a double effect: damaging this year’s crops and preventing completion of winter crop planting,” Oil World said. “The situation is more severe in Russia.”

Planting of winter grain in Russia may be 4 million hectares less than previously intended, with the biggest effect on wheat, Oil World said. Farmers planted about 57 percent of planned winter grains, or 9.35 million hectares, as of Oct. 10, compared with 87 percent at the same time last year. Lower planting “will substantially reduce next year’s production prospects,” according to the report.

Ukrainian farmers had planted 3.7 million hectares of winter grain as of Oct. 4, compared with 5.7 million hectares sown a year earlier, Oil World said. Wheat accounted for 3.3 million hectares of plantings so far this year.

Excess rain also has eroded crops in some areas of India. The country’s soybean crop may be as much as 2 million tons lower than previously estimated. Harvest delays have reduced crushing and boosted soybean meal prices, according to the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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