FSU Grain Production

IKAR yesterday pegged Russian grain production for this season at 92 MMT, 15% down on last season despite an increase in planted area.

According to the Russian Agriculture Ministry the harvest this season so far amounts to 32 MMT, off 23.6% of the planted area. Yields to date are 2.83 MT/hectare down 0.82 MT/ha or 22.5% on last year.

The Ministry peg this season's grain output at only 85 MMT, down more than 21% on last year's 108.1 MMT.

In the Ukraine harvesting is well advanced with farmers cutting 72% of planted area as of 30th July, producing 26.5 MMT of grain. Wheat harvesting os 79% complete at 16.5 MMT, with yields averaging just over 3 MT/heactare, compared to 3.5 MT/ha last season.

According to the forecasts of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan, this year's wheat crop will increase by around 1.5-2 MMT on last season to 13-14 MMT in net weight "if there is good weather in August and if we harvest the crop on time."

"The exact forecast will be in the middle of August," the Ministry said.

It looks like my current estimate for Russian wheat output at 59 MMT this season is towards the top end of analyst's estimates, Ukraine production at 19 MMT is probably now a little on the low side, and Kazakhstan output at 14 MMT spot on. Even so Russian and Ukraine wheat output is probably down around 5 MMT each this season.

The landlocked Kazakh's will be looking to capitalise on this lower output from it's near neighbours to steal a few Black Sea export homes for itself.