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Russia's grain crop forecast revised down
MOSCOW ,SovEcon has revised its forecast for Russia's grain output in 2003 downwards to 61.0-65.5 million tonnes from figure of 62-68 million tonnes due to delays in the harvesting campaign and an expected yield decline.
By the end of August, grains had been harvested from just 15.8 million hectares, compared with 31.8 million hectares by the same date last year.
This is just 37 percent of the total sown area, which reflects a historically low harvesting pace.
The harvesting has been practically completed only in the North Caucasus.
In the Central Russia and in the regions on the Volga, abnormally heavy rains continue interrupting the campaign, which is lagging behind last year's indicators by an average of three weeks.
Shortages of grain harvesters exacerbate the situation and bring about additional grain losses.
In all main-producing regions in the European Russia, yields in the public sector, achieved from the threshed area, are somewhat lower than last year.
Krasnodar and Rostov face the most serious decline in yields (Table 1). A span of dry weather in late August has promoted start of the harvesting in the Urals and Siberia.
However, yields are better only in the Urals. In Siberia, summer drought has hindered the crop development, particularly in Altai and Novosibirsk.
Krasnoyarsk is the only large grain-producing region in Siberia, where grain yields are seen higher than last year.
As a result, official expectations that Siberia would produce some 14 million tonnes, the same amount as last year, are unlikely to materialise.
SovEcon's forecast for Russia's total grain output in 2003 is now put in the range of 61.0-65.5 million tonnes, down from a bumper 86.6 million tonnes in 2002, reflecting mounting delays in the harvesting in the European Russia and reduced yields in Siberia.
SovEcon's forecast is significantly lower than the official forecast of the Agriculture Ministry of 70 million tonnes and the Russian Grain Union's estimate of 75 million tonnes.
MGR Archive 6.9.2003
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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