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Russia cuts 2014 wheat crop forecast

Business Recorder, 14.10.14

Russia is likely to harvest slightly less wheat than was previously expected after Russian officials cut their estimate of the harvesting area and also due to snow and rain in regions where harvesting is still going on, IKAR analysts said. IKAR, one of the leading Moscow-based agriculture consultancies, has cut its forecast for the country's 2014 wheat crop to 58.5 million tonnes from 60 million tonnes, it said in a note.

It also cut its barley crop forecast to 19.5 million tonnes from 20.1 million tonnes, while the maize (corn) crop estimate was downgraded by 1.7 million tonnes to 12.7 million tonnes, it added. The Russian agriculture ministry cut its estimate of this year's harvesting area by 1.5 million hectares to 45.16 million hectares on October 1 as it re-classified part of the area for feed needs.

"It's a seasonally traditional decision, it was not unexpected," Andrei Sizov, the head of SovEcon, another agriculture consultancy, said. SovEcon has not changed its grain crop forecast from 104.5 million tonnes, including 59 million tonnes of wheat, Sizov said. As of October 7, Russia harvested 101.5 million tonnes of grains by bunker weight from 90 percent of the planned area. According to the Agriculture ministry, the drying and cleaning will decrease the figure by about 6 percent this year.

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