As of June 03, Russian farmers seeded 12.8 mln ha of spring wheat, as per AgMin’s data. Area expansion is driven by large replanting in the Center and record-high ruble prices in the 2020/21 season.
12.8 mln ha is already above the previous year’s final area of 12.5 mln ha and substantially above the USDA’s estimate of 12 mln ha. The campaign continues and farmers could seed additionally 0.1-0.2 mln ha. This could be the highest area since 2016 when Russia planted 13.7 mln ha.
Ice-crust that remained on the Center’s fields for several weeks in late winter led to substantial winterkill, which is reported to be around 1 mln ha. In line with our expectations, it was largely replanted with spring wheat. The region has seeded 0.6 m ha of spring wheat more compared to the previous year. It could have seeded more wheat but the competition with other crops, mainly sunflower and soybeans, is strong.
Ruble food wheat average prices hit an all-time high of 16,000 rub/mt earlier in 20/21 (USDRUB = 72.9).
SovEcon estimated the spring wheat area at 12.8 mln ha in its most recent forecast. The new forecast is to be released this week.