Russia will reduce the area of wheat planted this coming season according to the President of Russian Grain Union, Arkadiy Zlochevskiy.
He cites the introduction of regulatory measures as the reason why farmers will be planting less spring wheat this year suggesting a drop of 1.6% on last year.
He also said the harvested areas of winter crops will be down on last year; nearly 10% of crops are estimated as not in good condition resulting in a potential harvest of 14.8mha against 15.2mha in 2015.
Some Russian farmers I’m talking to are saying they might be looking at winter losses of up to 15% but they won’t know for certain for a couple more weeks.
Ukraine’s cropping season is underway with the Ministry reporting that 2,600ha of early spring grains have already been planted and 1.6mha or 24% of winter grain crops have been fertilised, which to be honest seems high.
It was announced this week that Cargill and Ukraine's M.V. Cargo would build and operate a new grain terminal at Ukraine's Black Sea port of Yuzhny in a $100m joint venture. The facility is planned to have an annual loading capacity of 5mmt.
This was in the same week Cargill announced they stop selling crop inputs to farmers in the Black Sea region including Russia, Ukraine and Romania as they cut back operations citing to low commodity prices and an inability to realise many of the expected synergies between origination and crop inputs.
Weather forecasts are suggesting mild weather will continue in to March so risk of further winter losses is diminishing but is not entirely over yet snow & ice has melted across much of the Russian grain belt leaving crops exposed if it does turn cold again.
Warm weather has meant that snow has all but gone in Ukraine and much of the Russian grain belt with temperatures currently 10°C above normal.
Winter crops have begun to green-up in south Russia more than five weeks ahead of average while parts of Ukraine's river Dnieper has now opened to navigation three weeks earlier than usual.
The USDA reported that although recent spring-like warmth has not been detrimental to winter wheat, the early development and lack of protective snow cover has left crops more vulnerable than usual to potential incursions of late-winter or early spring bitter cold.
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