Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Russian Wheat Issues May Also Impact Next Year's Harvest

From Agrimoney.com:

The impact of Russia's drought on farmers look set to extend into next year, threatening a "significant decrease" in winter sowings in the core Volga Valley farming region, SovEcon has said.

Farmers in the region, one of the areas worst affected by Russia's worst drought in 130 years, have only a fortnight left until starting plantings, which are undertaken early so as to allow crops to enter well-developed into what are often harsh winter conditions.

Yet the fields there "have had no rain", said Andrey Sizov, managing director of SovEcon, the analysis group whose warnings at the end of June first drew global attention to the threat posed to Russia by drought.

While Volga farmers – responsible for nearly one-third of Russia's winter sowings last year - had some leeway for altering sowing strategy, they faced having "to sow in dry soil, which does not make a lot of sense", Mr Sizov told Agrimoney.com.

"It's too early to say what the planting area in the Volga region will be. But there is the risk of a significant decrease in [winter] planting area."

This is the big issue hitting the wheat market right now. I expect it will continue for some time. For all the talk of deflation, this might actually help out with prices in a, well, ironic way.