17 Apr 2024 16:42

Russian grain market analysts see no reason yet to reduce grain harvest forecasts due to flooding

MOSCOW. April 17 (Interfax) - There is no particular need to reduce grain harvest forecasts in Russia because of the severe flooding experienced by several regions, grain market analysts interviewed by Interfax said.

"Floods, as a rule, affect farmland to a very small extent; they pass through floodplain areas and populated areas to a greater extent," Vladimir Petrichenko, general director of the ProZerno company said.

The grain harvest this year will be 140 million tonnes, including 90-91 million tonnes of wheat, his March estimate says. Petrichenko has not yet published a forecast for April.

"It's too early to talk about the impact of the flood on the future harvest, but we do not consider this a global factor," Dmitry Rylko, general director of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) said.

His previous forecast of 146 million tonnes of grain, including 93 million tonnes of wheat, remains valid, he said.

"It is still problematic to assess the consequences of the flooding; everything will depend on what part of the crops will die," grain market analyst Alexander Korbut said, adding, "it is premature to make assessments."

At the same time, the high level of soil moisture with the potential of an approaching hot summer is a positive development, he said.

The grain harvest in Russia this year could reach 145 million tonnes, including 93 million tonnes of wheat, Korbut's forecast says.

Russia harvested 144.9 million tonnes of grain in 2023, including 92.8 million tonnes of wheat.

As reported, over 6,000 hectares of winter grain crops and 6.5 hectares of greenhouse vegetables were flooded in the Orenburg region, which was hit hardest by the flood. Warehouses containing 816 tonnes of grain seeds, 230 tonnes of food grains, and 2.5 tonnes of perennial grass seeds were affected.

Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Agricultural and Food Policy and Environmental Management Alexander Dvoinykh said in the Parliamentary Newspaper that there was also a risk of losing winter crops due to floods and other hazardous phenomena in the Altai Territory. "As a result of a combination of warm, rainy weather and severe frosts, a number of regions experienced an extensive loss of seedling viability, up to 75% in some regions," the senator said.

The Agriculture Ministry recently said that the work of agricultural organizations in regions affected by floods has not been disrupted. A state of emergency is in effect at the federal level in the Orenburg region, while regional states of emergency are active in the Altai Territory, Kurgan and Tyumen regions. The Samara region is also in a potential risk zone.