MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Two of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow on July 8 downgraded their forecasts for Russia’s 2019 wheat crop as hot, dry weather continues to impact the region.

SovEcon and IKAR said several key wheat-producing regions in Russia have received 20% to 50% of their normal level of precipitation from late May to early July, with temperatures above normal.

 SovEcon forecast Russia’s 2019 wheat crop at 76.6 million tonnes, down from its previous prediction of 82.2 million tonnes. Its forecast for the grain crop overall fell to 121.9 million tonnes from 127.1 million.

Russia, which has led the world in wheat exports the past several years, will export 33 million tonnes of wheat in 2019, according to SovEcon, down from its previous forecast of 37.6 million tonnes.

IKAR has lowered its wheat production projection for Russia to 78.5 million tonnes from 79.3 million.

Despite the hot and dry weather, grain prices fell last week in Russia with the arrival of the new crop. Black Sea new-crop prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content were $193 a tonne free on board (FOB), down from $2 a week earlier.