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Russia, Brazil harvests on course for records

Wheat, soybean and corn among the top performers, with future prices falling on the back of higher-than-expected forecasts.

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Wheat, soybean and corn among the top performers, with future prices falling on the back of higher-than-expected forecasts.

Russian crops are set for a stunning performance this year as record yields, good grain condition and healthy soils lift estimates beyond last year’s already high levels.

The latest figures available by the US Department of Agriculture show Russian wheat production for 2017-18 headed for 77.5 million tons, beating the record established last year by 5 million metric tons. The country’s soybean production was also on course for its fourth consecutive record crop, surpassing last year’s output by 0.8 million tons.

The optimistic previsions were lent further weight by Moscow-based analysis firm SovEcon, which forecasted the overall Russian grains harvest at 125.2 million tons, including 77.9 million tons for wheat. The group attributed the outperformance, notably, to the condition of spring grains and the high level of moisture in the soil.

Brazil, which has two seasons for corn production, was another star of the USDA report. The crop was projected to hit a record 98.5 million tons for the 2016-17 period, up 31.5 million tons from 2015-16.

Added to higher-than-expected forecasts for the US and global markets, USDA’s update caused future prices for a wide range of grains to tumble, with corn, wheat and soybean all dipping between 3 percent and 4 percent on the Chicago Board of Trade yesterday.

Not every country was forecasted to outperform, however, with EU corn impacted by the region’s heatwave and Canadian grain output also predicted to suffer from a hot, dry summer.