The report said analysts from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service/Moscow are forecasting a Russian grain harvest in 2018-19 of 128.2 million tonnes, including 76.7 million tonnes of wheat.
Pavel Skurikhin, president of the National Union of Grain Producers, believes that if weather conditions are favorable, it will be possible to achieve a total grain harvest close to last year’s level. However, agricultural producers are in a somewhat weak financial condition as a result of falling prices for grain last fall, due to the record grain harvest. This could affect producers’ purchase and use of chemical inputs and slow down the pace of spring sowing, he said.
FAS/Moscow also increased the forecast of Russia’s wheat exports in 2017-18 from 35 million tonnes to 36 million, largely due to a record high grain harvest and continued demand for wheat in the world market. It also has raised the export forecast for corn by 7% to 4.5 million tonnes from its October update.
As of Dec. 1, 2017, Russia’s total grain stocks were 52.6 million tonnes, the highest stock level observed on that date in the past eight years, due in part to the record crop this year. Almost 33.04 million tonnes of these stocks were held at agricultural enterprises. The remaining 19.5 million tonnes of stocks were at assembling and processing enterprises (elevators, warehouses and storage facilities of grain processing enterprises).