The short term losses for the Russian economy from the heat wave and consequent drought and wild fires may amount to 1% of 2010 GDP, or around $15 billion, analysts told Kommersant business daily in a report published on Tuesday.
There will be no official attempts to estimate the losses from the catastrophe before the end of 2010, the paper said. Losses directly relating to the production of goods and services in July will be published in the Federal State Statistics Service data on industrial production next week.
"The main negative effect from the drought and fires will occur in July-August," HSBC's Alexander Morozov said, adding that stagnation may be formally recognized following the third quarter of 2010.
He said that 50% of value added in agriculture is created in the third quarter. According to his estimates, due to problems in industry and a reduction in the level of economic activity, the Russian economy "may lose about 4% of value added for the quarter and 1% of GDP growth in 2010."
The paper said the only concrete data available was the reduction in the grain harvest to 60-65 million tons. From the temporary ban on grain exports there will be an income loss of about $ 3 billion until the end of the year and a surge in food inflation, including a rise in prices of food imports.
Most analysts still assess the impact of the disaster on the economy more modestly. UBS has lowered estimates of GDP growth in 2010 to 0.5% and increased its inflation outlook for 2010 from 5.5% to 6%, and up to 6.5% in 2011.
Uralsib has not yet revised its forecast, but analyst Vladimir Tikhomirov "does not exclude 9% inflation " or more in 2010. His estimate of GDP growth remains within 5-5.5%, but "in view of recent developments, growth may be lower," he said.