Russia has 'good moisture' for wheat, SovEcon says


Russia is seeing good moisture levels for winter crop sowings said Andrey Sizov Jr of the influential Moscow-based analysis group SovEcon.

This week the European Commission flagged "concern" about dry weather in parts of Russia, which could harm winter wheat prospects.

But speaking to Agrimoney, Mr Sizov was upbeat about winter wheat prospects.

Good moisture

"Things actually are looking quite well this fall, contrary to previous years where we had very dry soil," Mr Sizov said.

"Currently everything is looking quite nice, as we have good moisture."

In fact Mr Sizov reported that in neighbouring Ukraine "there Is even too much moisture in some regions".

Good condition before winter comes

The high levels of moisture will set the Russian winter wheat crop up well before the crop goes dormant for the winter.

"In Russia crops are likely to enter winter in a relatively strong state," Mr Sizov said. "Crops look much better before the snow, compared to the two previous years."

The crop sown last year actually proved to be a very heavy one, despite early drought worries, thanks to a mild winter.

But Mr Sizov said to be prepared for a return to more normal winter temperatures this season.

"We have had two mild winters in a row. It's unlikely that we have another warm winter."

Tax has little bearing on planting

Mr Sizov said famers were unlikely to increase sowings in response to the news that Russia will scrap its wheat export tax.

"Farmers made their planting decision before the tax," he said.

And due to the low price of wheat, the effect of that tax on exporters was very limited.

"The tax was mostly irrelevant because it was at a minimum level… 10 roubles a tonne," Mr Sizov said.

"It was a negligible value… it didn't have much effect on the market"


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