Russia planted record-high 29.4 mln ha of wheat

SovEcon has analyzed eagerly anticipated official data on the pre-harvest wheat area in Russia released by Russia’s statistical agency Rosstat on July 24.

SovEcon has analyzed eagerly anticipated official data on the pre-harvest wheat area in Russia released by Russia’s statistical agency Rosstat on July 24. The spring wheat area is 12.56 mln ha (+0.29 mln ha year on year) and the winter wheat area is all-time high 16.86 mln ha (+1.06 mln ha YoY !). The total area is 29.42 mln ha (+1.35 mln ha YoY), a record since the ’80s. The most recent SovEcon’s estimate of the wheat area is 29.3 mln ha.

Rosstat figures are substantially above almost all public estimates, except SovEcon’s. Russia’s AgMin was projecting a 28.8 mln ha pre-harvest area until early July, around two weeks ago it was upped to 29.1 mln ha. USDA’s WASDE 76.5 mln ha forecast for Russia was based on 27.7 mln ha harvested area (ex Crimea which planted 0.3 mln ha). As per SovEcon’s calculations, USDA’s figure converts to around 28.5-28.7 mln of pre-harvest area (including Crimea). The majority of private analysts have been using figures close to Russia’s AgMin or USDA.

As per SovEcon’s calculations, additional hectares reported by Rosstat convert to around 2 MMT of additional wheat for Russia in 2020 if yields from the July WASDE report are applied. 

SovEcon believes that Rosstat figures are bearish for the Black Sea wheat as many forecasts will be upped shortly to reflect new area figures. SovEcon doesn’t plan to revise its wheat forecast substantially (79.7 MMT, inc Crimea; 78.9 MM ex Crimea) as it’s area estimate (29.3 mln ha) was based not on AgMin’s figure but its own estimate and is very close to actual data reported by Rosstat.

New SovEcon’s forecast will be released this week. 

Russia, #1 world wheat exporter, harvested 74.5 MMT (73.6 MMT ex Crimea) of wheat in 2019.

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