Russia, which lost 25 percent of its grain harvest to drought last year, will see production restricted again this season as drought in parts of the country’s European area and cold, wet conditions in Siberia damage crops, producers said.
Russia will have about the same total grain supply in the 2013-14 season that began July 1 as last year at about 85 million to 90 million metric tons, said Pavel Skurikhin, president of the country’s Grain Producers’ Union, at a briefing in Moscow today.
Supplies will include a harvest of 75 million to 80 million tons after drying and cleaning, imports and carryover stocks, said Skurikhin. Last year, Russia harvested 70.9 million tons, according to state data. With imports and carryover stocks added, total supply was about 90 million tons in 2012-13, according to Skurikhin. Grain exports are seen similar in both periods at about 15 million tons.
Russian farmers increased the area under grains this season by 500,000 hectares (1.24 million acres), according to Agriculture Ministry data. Drought in the Volga and Rostov areas in Russia’s European area, as well as sowing delays in Siberia resulting from low temperatures and rainfall, will prevent farmers from expanding the crop by the 34 percent targeted by the Agriculture Ministry, according to Skurikhin.
Russia had harvested 31.9 million tons of grains as of yesterday, compared with 21.4 million tons a year earlier, ministry data show. The average yield is declining as harvesting progresses and expands to the Volga area. Yields fell to 2.9 tons a hectare from 3.7 tons at the start of the season July 1, ministry data showed.
The wheat harvest reached 26.6 million tons compared with 17.7 million tons a year earlier, and the yield was 3.1 tons a hectare from about 2.5 tons a hectare a year earlier.
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