SovEcon: Russian grain crop could drop to a three-year low

Grain production for the new season is expected to decrease due to lower yields caused by weather anomalies and a reduction in planted area.

SovEcon estimates Russian grain production for the new season at 127.4 million metric tons (MMT), down from 144.9 MMT the previous year. Grain production for the new season is expected to decrease due to lower yields caused by weather anomalies and a reduction in planted area.

Wheat production for the new season is projected at 80.7 MMT (down 13% year-over-year), barley at 18.6 MMT (down 12%), and corn at 14.6 MMT (down 12%).

The yield of the three main crops is expected to be lower than last year due to weather anomalies in recent months. Precipitation levels in the Central and Southern regions over the last three months were 60-80% of the norm. In May, the crops in Central and Southern regions also suffered from frosts with temperatures dropping to -6°C.

Another negative factor for the new crop could be a 3% reduction in planted area compared to last year, totaling 46.4 million hectares (mln ha). The most significant reduction is expected in barley, to 7.3 mln ha from 7.9 mln ha a year prior. Russia is among the top three barley exporters, along with the EU and Australia.

In the coming weeks, the weather in the South, southern part of the Central region, and the Volga region is expected to be drier than normal. Temperatures in many regions will exceed 30°C, which could further deteriorate the outlook for the new crop.

Given the specifics of the Russian market, a significant drop in production increases the risk of additional export restrictions in the new season.

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