April 9, 2014
Russian's 2014 grain crop largely unchanged from 2013
Russia's grain crop this year is expected to be 90 million tonnes, a slight slide from last year's 90.4 million tonnes, with the improved state of winter grains likely to outweigh a possible decline of spring grain acreage, Russia's Grain Producers' Union said on Monday.
However, the country's industry lobby expects this season's winter grain losses to be lower than a year ago, Interfax reported.
"Previously, there were expectations that 6% of [winter grain] sowings might perish, but now this forecast has been lowered to 4.9% and may be even smaller," the union's president Arkady Zlochevsky said at a news briefing.
But the area to be sown with spring grains may shrink due to the government's slowness in providing subsidies to grain growers, who also have problems in repaying bank loans and obtaining new ones, he said.
The overall grain crop estimate includes the output of recently annexed Crimea, which normally produces between 1.5 and 2 million tonnes of grain. Zlochevsky said he expected a lower crop on the peninsula this year, without providing a precise figure.