MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Already concerned about rising food prices, the Russian government on Oct. 28 cut its official grain harvest estimate for the 2021-22 marketing year, Reuters reported.

The agriculture ministry for the world’s largest wheat exporter said it expects to harvest around 123 million tonnes of grain, the report said. It had previously forecast production at more than 127 million tonnes, but recent dry weather has impacted the crop.

The ministry said it is anticipating a wheat crop of a little more than 75 million tonnes, which would be well below last year’s output of 85 million tonnes.

The Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects an even smaller 2021-22 Russian wheat crop at 72.5 million tonnes. The USDA also sees wheat exports declining to 35 million tonnes from 38.5 million tonnes.

The USDA projects the European Union replacing Russia this year as the leading wheat exporter at 35.5 million tonnes.

In an effort to curb food inflation, Russia earlier this year implemented a floating tariff on wheat, barley and corn exports.

Steve Freed, vice president, ADM Investor Services, Chicago, Illinois, US told Milling & Baking News, a sister publication of World Grain, he anticipates downward pressure on Russian wheat exports in the near term.

“It looks like the Russian domestic price of wheat is higher than the export price, so we’re going to see a pretty steep decline in Russia’s export wheat availability,” Freed said.