Russia's agriculture ministry sees 2018 grain crop at 100 mln T


Russia is expected to harvest up to 100 million tonnes of grain, lower than many analysts' forecasts, due to dry weather in its southern regions and delayed sowing in the Urals and Siberia, Russian Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said on Friday.

SovEcon and IKAR, the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, expect the harvest to reach 119.6 million tonnes and 114.7 million tonnes, respectively.

Last year, the agriculture ministry was far more pessimistic about the 2017 crop than the majority of analysts until the last minute, probably hoping to constrain the fall in prices with low forecasts.

Russia, one of the world's largest grain exporters, has already harvested more than 1 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning, but yields are so far 0.4 tonnes per hectare lower than a year ago, Patrushev told a government meeting. He did not provide further detail about yields.

Some regions started harvesting 20 days earlier than a year ago due to dry weather, the minister added.

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