Weather to Have Limited Effect on Russian Wheat Harvest, New Forecast Says

Russian state weather forecaster Hydrometcenter said on Tuesday that conditions for Russia’s spring wheat harvest are generally good or satisfactory with only a few areas affected by a heatwave in some parts of the country, Reuters reported.

Concerns that hot and dry weather could hurt plantings in several regions of Russia has marked the country’s start of active harvesting of its 2019 grain crop.

Some analysts have downgraded their 2019 crop estimates due to the heatwave, but Hydrometcentre said overall the situation with plantings was good, with only a few regions facing potential problems.

In the southern part of Russia, hot weather may affect the development of wheat in a few parts of Stavropol, Rostov and Volgograd regions, Strashnaya said, adding that the Crimea Peninsula could also face the same issues.

Krasnodar, one of the main regions for wheat production and export in Russia, has already harvested its first million tons of wheat with an average yield 0.21 tons per hectare higher than a year ago, the local department of the agriculture ministry said in a statement. It did not disclose the actual level of the yield.

Meanwhile, French consultancy Agritel said that wheat production in Russia is expected to hit 81.7 million tons this year, up 13% compared with 2018, as hot, dry conditions this month have had a limited impact on yields.

The forecast, following a field tour in southern Russia on June 10-14, was above Agritel’s initial Russian wheat harvest estimate of 79.2 million tons published in April.

“Despite the hot and dry weather that settled in June, we believe that this phenomenon should not have a significant impact on the final yield since wheat already reached the ripening stage,” Agritel said in a note on Wednesday.

Russia is the world’s biggest exporter of wheat.