Russia’s agriculture ministry pauses grain harvesting data

File photo of wheat being loaded onto a bulk vessel at port in Russia. (YGrek/iStock/Getty Images)
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Moscow | Reuters — Russia’s agriculture ministry has paused its daily publication of grain harvesting data while it refines the reporting format used by the country’s growing regions, the ministry said Wednesday.

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, supplying it mainly to Africa and the Middle East. It competes with the European Union and Ukraine.

The ministry “is currently doing technical work with the regions to refine the form and structure of the operational data on crop harvesting and sowing of winter grains,” it said on Wednesday.

“Once this work is completed, the information will continue to be published on the ministry’s website on a daily basis,” it added.

The latest harvesting data on the ministry’s website is as of Aug. 6. Its analytical centre Specagro last published the data as of Aug. 11, when Russia had harvested 74.9 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning.

The ministry last week left its 2021 grain crop forecast unchanged at 127.4 million tonnes, including 81 million tonnes of wheat, the Interfax news agency reported.

Its forecast is higher than those of analysts.

The ministry is in discussions with state statistics service Rosstat over a difference in their estimates of Russia’s 2021 grain sowing area, Interfax reported last week, citing the ministry.

The ministry’s crop forecast takes into account one million hectares which farmers resowed with grain this year, it told Interfax, adding that the ministry and the stats service planned to disclose their consolidated point of view on the issue soon.

Rosstat’s estimate of the pre-harvest winter wheat area was one of the reasons behind a wave downgrades of Russia’s 2021 grain crop in August, along with dry and hot weather.

— Reporting for Reuters by Polina Devitt.

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