Russian wheat looks good at the beginning of April. It was another mild winter, favorable for the new crop with enough snow in the majority of regions and no temperatures low enough to threaten new crop’s yields.
At this point, the data on winter wheat area is not available and it will be released only in a few months. (Beat that in mind when you hear someone talking about knowing the actual area under wheat, it can’t be true). We currently estimate the area under winter wheat (after winterkill) at 15.5 mln ha compared to 15.3 mln ha in 2018.
Spring wheat area is estimated to remain close to 2018 when it was 12 mln ha. On one hand, wheat and grains generally provided good returns for farmers compared to sunflower (#2 cash crop for Russia) which may support the area. On another – there is a long trend of spring wheat area getting smaller as it’s being substituted by winter wheat in some regions. In Siberia, spring wheat is losing hectares to rapeseed (canola) and flax which are being exported to China.
Looking at current conditions across Russia and probably increased wheat area we estimate the new wheat crop at 83.4 mmt, up from 72.1 mmt in 2018 (or 71.7 mmt ex Crimea, as it’s being reported by USDA). This crop could be the second highest after 2017 when Russia harvested 86 mmt (85.2 mmt ex Crimea).
Winter wheat and spring wheat area 2010-2019, mln ha
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