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Russia: Severe frosts could hurt this year’s crop harvest

Russia could lose a significant share of its crops this year due to unseasonably harsh frosts which could continue until the beginning of April, according to a report by the Federal Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Service.

Currently very bad weather conditions are being observed in the Southern and North-Caucasus federal district as well as in the Central Part of the country. The first two districts, Russia’s main grain growing and exporting areas, harvested 24.6 million metric tonnes of grain, or about 35% of the national crop this season, according to state statistics.

At the beginning of March the statistics service forecast that about 9.5% of this year’s winter crops across the country could be destroyed by frost and dampness, compared to the a yearly average of 8% to 8.5. Currently it is predicted that Russia could lose up to 13% or more of the harvest.

“The main question is what will be the actual winter crop’ loss. Risks are high,” Andrey Sizov, managing director of the Moscow-based SovEcon consultancy commented. “The ministry’s target of 95 million tons looks more and more unrealistic.”

Last year Russia was the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter.

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