Russia’s Grain Harvest to be Third Largest in Post-Soviet History
After revising its forecast, Russian consultancy body, SovEcon, estimates that Russia’s grain harvest this season will be the third largest in post-Soviet history despite unfavorable weather last autumn, high production costs, and government regulations that have been deterring wheat exports since late 2014.
SovEcon has raised its forecast for Russia’s grain output for 2015 by 2 million tons to 101 million tons after favorable spring rains resulted in a good wheat crop, which the consultancy estimates will be 61.3 million tons. The consultancy’s estimate however, remains below that of the agricultural ministry which foresees grain output of 103 million tons – two million tons less than 2014 and five million tons down from the record crop of 108 million tons in 2008.
Exportable surplus grain for the 2015/16 marketing year begun on July 1 is expected to be high at 31 million tons, including an exportable wheat surplus of 23 million tons, but actual export volumes remain uncertain due to export tax regulations.
Russia’s farmers are now preparing to begin sowing for next season’s crop, however it is too early to determine if next year will see the same high production, as the rouble continues to weaken, inputs such as seed and fertilizer become more expensive, while the nation’s farmers do not have the same cash on hand that they did last year.