The continued dry weather in Russia's southern crop growing regions may hurt the grain production and yields, potentially dashing Russia's plans to re-taking its position as a major wheat exporter this year, experts said on Monday.
The state weather forecaster said no rain was forecast until May 12 in two regions in Russia's Southern Federal District, the country's main wheat export region which accounted for 40% of the country's wheat crop last year.
Russia, traditionally the world's third largest wheat exporter, lost a quarter of last year's grain crop due to drought during the second half of May and early June. "Moisture content in the soil is satisfactory in Rostov, Stavropol and Volgograd regions now, but we would have to cut our forecast if there are no rains until May 15," said experts of the local trading agencies.
While no rains were forecast in Rostov and Volgograd, Stavropol region was due to have light rains on Monday and on May 12, data from the forecaster showed. However, the situation is better in Russia's top growing Krasnodar region, said the trader and Kuban Agro, a farming business of Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska. "As of now, the situation does not look like last year thanks to good moisture content in soil," said the farmer from Kuban, which produces wheat on 84,000 hectares in the region for export via the Black Sea.