MOSCOW- Russian agriculture consultancy IKAR said on Monday it had raised its forecast for Russia's 2020 wheat crop by 1.5 million tonnes to 79.5 million tonnes due to higher yields in the central and Volga regions.

The main grain producing and exporting regions in the south of the country, the world's second-largest wheat exporter after the European Union, have however been hit by dry weather earlier this year. 

IKAR did not provide an updated forecast for the total grain crop.

Analysts' views on Russia's 2020 wheat crop are converging after showing a wide range for months, and are above those of Russia's agriculture ministry, which has a forecast of 75 million tonnes.

Russian farmers have already harvested 47.6 million tonnes of wheat before drying and cleaning, and their harvesting campaign in the southern regions is more or less complete.

However, risks remain for the Urals and Siberia which have been hit by dry weather this year. These two regions are less important for Russia's export potential as they are far from the country's main Black Sea ports, but still crucial for domestic consumption and Russia's overall supply-demand balance.

(Reporting by Olga Popova and Polina Devitt; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Jason Neely, Kirsten Donovan) ((; +7 495 775 12 42; Reuters Messaging: