Russia's southern Rostov region declares emergency due to drought

(Reuters) - Russia has declared a state of emergency in the agricultural sector of the southern Rostov region due to a drought, local governor Vasily Golubev said on Tuesday.

The emergency, effective immediately, aims to address potential crop losses estimated at up to 30% by Golubev, following earlier damage from May frosts. He did not specify what actions would be taken after a state of emergency was declared.

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture so far estimates crop losses from May frosts at about 1 million hectares, or 1.2% of the total sown area for the 2024 harvest, with another 700,000 hectares suffering damage. Most of the dead crops have already been reseeded, the ministry says.

The agriculture ministry is sticking to its 2024 grain harvest forecast of 132 million tons but says that could be adjusted if a drought persists in several regions.

Earlier on Tuesday the head of Russia's grain union Arkady Zlochevsky said that frosts in Russia have affected between 15% and 30% of winter grains, varying by region.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Gareth Jones, Alexandra Hudson)