By November 20, Corn crop in Russia exceeded 13.3 million tons in bunker weight compared to 10.5 million tons on the same date in 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture reports. This result is already higher than last year’s total gross harvest, which, according to the Federal State Statistics Service, amounted to 11.4 million tons. About 15% of agricultural crops remain uncut. Work is being completed in the Central and Southern Federal Districts, about 25% of the area remains to be removed in the North Caucasus, and about 30% in the Volga region, according to the National Union of Grain Producers (NHA).
According to the forecast of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR), the corn harvest this year will be at the level of 14.2-14.4 million tons. Last year, due to drought in the South, there was a strong drawdown in yield, but there were no such losses. although there were certain problems in the form of defeats of agro-culture by a scoop, Oleg Sukhanov, head of the IKAR grain direction, told Agroinvestor. In addition, the Center had very favorable weather conditions, both for corn and for sunflower and soy, he adds.
The analytical company ProZerno estimates the harvesting potential at 14.1 million tons. The company’s general director Vladimir Petrichenko recalls that corn crops were 5% higher than last year, which was one of the reasons for the higher gross harvest. The second factor is a good yield. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, this year it is 60.2 c / ha against 49 c / ha in 2018. According to Petrichenko, the current year’s indicator is the same as it was in 2016 when the agricultural crop reached a record 15.3 million tons. According to the NHA, the Center’s corn yield is 5 kg/ha higher than last year, in the South – 17 kg/ha, in the North Caucasus – by 6 kg/ha, in the Volga region – by 10 kg/ha. The Union believes that the gross harvest of corn for grain will be either at the level of 2017 or slightly higher and this year corn crop in Russia exceeded 13.3 million tons.
Most likely, the actual crop is now higher than officially published data due to the delay in receiving messages from the regions, suggests the President of the Board of Trustees of the NHA Pavel Skurikhin. “Most of all we see this delay in the Caucasus, based on the data provided, while 75% of the crops have been harvested there so far. But, I think, in the end, all the areas under the agricultural crop will be threshed without losses, ”he says. The quality of corn is within the standards of GOST and meets all the parameters requested by processors, adds Skurikhin.
Corn prices are now low and may continue to decline, said Sukhanov. According to ProZerno monitoring, export prices for corn this year are significantly lower than last year. So, on the basis of the FOB Black Sea, the amount to $ 168 per ton against $ 186 / t in November 2018. “The fact is that in the world prices for corn, and wheat, and especially for barley, are lower this year than last year,” Petrichenko explains. According to the expert, domestic prices are also lower than last year – in the European part of the country about 9.13 thousand rubles/ton (including VAT, at the elevator). “I hope that now we are at the lowest point and there will be no continuation of their decline,” Petrichenko comments.
At the same time, against the background of a significant harvest, surplus forms in the market continue Sukhanov. About 5.5-6 million tons of corn could be sent for export, but supplies are hindered. Firstly, Ukraine – one of the world’s major suppliers of corn – will receive a record crop and, probably, its shipment of agricultural crops to foreign markets will also be a record because the total corn crop in Russia exceeded 13.3 million tons at this year. “The second reason is problems with export to Iran. Last year, he was the main buyer of Russian corn; this year, for objective reasons, there are almost no deliveries to this country, ”Sukhanov explains. “Accordingly, the number of sales areas, especially those where we could successfully compete in price with Ukraine, has decreased.”
Sukhanov believes that it is possible that in the second half of the season the pace of export of our corn will accelerate, but does not yet think that in general, the volumes will greatly exceed last year’s. “Last season we exported 2.8 million tons of agricultural crops, in this, perhaps, we will increase the figure to 3-3.5 million tons in the best scenario,” the expert estimates. From September to mid-November, according to ICAR, 0.8 million tons of corn were exported. “Now corn is exporting quite slowly, but its potential is at 4.4 million tons,” Petrichenko adds.
Sukhanov believes that a lot of corn will remain on the domestic market, and livestock breeders will actively replace other corn in their diets. However, carry-over stocks for the next season will still be high and amount to more than 1-1.2 million tons compared to 600 thousand tons at the beginning of the current agricultural year, he warns.
According to Petrichenko, this year, farmers in a number of regions were somewhat disappointed in corn, expecting higher profitability from it. Sukhanov, however, believes that although corn prices are now low, it is still profitable to grow it, especially in the center of the country due to high productivity, which in some areas reaches 10-13 t / ha, so it is unlikely that there will be a reduction in area. “In other regions next year, most likely, farmers will also not greatly reduce the area under corn, since there is nothing to replace it especially with the relatively low prices for other row crops, for example, sunflower, sugar beets, soybeans and corn crop in Russia exceeded 13.3 million tons,” he notes .
According to Skurikhin, the demand of the domestic market for corn is growing along with an increase in livestock production. In addition, in the Central and Volga districts, construction of starch and syrup processing plants for corn is underway. “Domestic demand, ensuring acceptable profitability in the production of corn for grain, will support the interest of farmers in it, and given the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture decided to reduce sugar beet crops next year, producers are likely to increase the area under corn, rape and soybeans by 3 -5%, ”he suggests. The corn crop in Russia exceeded 13.3 million tons and should reach 14.1 million tons by the end of this year, which will be a record since 2016.