Russian Grain Crop Seen Lower In 2009

The USDA agriculture attaché reports that he expects Russian grain output in 2009/10 to total 95 MMT, a 14% reduction on last season.

Wheat output is seen down 9% at 58 MMT, from 63 MMT last year.

Although winter plantings are expected slightly higher than twelve months ago, spring plantings are expected lower, he said.

Unlike most of Europe and the US, in Russia spring wheat can account for up to 50% of total wheat plantings.

Satellite-derived vegetation indices indicate that early-season conditions for the fall-sown winter crops are mixed. Persistent dryness in the Southern District (which accounts for around 60 percent of the country's winter wheat) likely hampered crop emergence and establishment, especially in the key Krasnodar territory.

Spring wheat area has declined in recent years, and is likely to contract further this coming season due, in part on the availability of credit for the spring planting campaign.

Barley production is seen down almost 20% from 23.1 MMt to 18.6 MMT, says the attaché .