Russian Grain Crop Seen Around 15 Percent Down In 2009

Early estimates for the 2009 Russian grain harvest peg the crop in the region of 91mmt, some 16mmt below production in 2008.

SovEcon, an analytical centre that studies the grain market, released its first preliminary forecast on February 6, predicting a harvest of 87-96mmt.

Meanwhile the Agrarian Market Conjuncture Institute (IKAR) said that their harvest forecast for the 2009 agricultural year is 85-95mmt.

Unlike ministries in other countries, the Russian Agriculture Ministry does not issue any official forecasts for the current year's harvest.

If we take the middle ground and go for a crop of 91mmt, that is 16mmt (or 15%) down on 2008. The harvest is expected to be split roughly 50:50 between winter and spring sown grains.