As of May 1, on-farm wheat stocks amounted to 12.0 million metric tons (MMT), according to Rosstat estimates. The numbers are two times higher than the five-year average, as per SovEcon estimate. The substantial increase in stocks can be attributed to the record-high wheat crop and relatively sluggish exports at the beginning of the export season.
Among the regions, the Volga region experienced the largest increase in wheat stocks, reaching an estimated 2.7 MMT, a growth of 108% compared to the previous year. Wheat stocks in the Central region amounted to 3.9 MMT, a 95% increase from the previous year. In the South, wheat stocks totaled 2.9 MMT, marking a 45% rise from the previous year.
The key factor contributing to the accumulation of stocks was the record-high crop of 2022. Rosstat estimates the Russian wheat crop at 104.2 MMT, which is 32% higher than the five-year average.
Wheat exports in the 2022/23 season were constrained by high freight rates, strengthening of the ruble, and export taxes. In the Q3 of 2022, wheat exports were estimated at 10.1 MMT, which is 16% below the average.
Despite the relatively sluggish export pace in the Q3, SovEcon expects record-high exports for the season. The think-tank estimates wheat exports in 2022/23 at 44.5 MMT, which is 23% higher than average.
Record-high wheat stocks are expected to keep boosting Russian wheat exports and exerting the pressure on the global prices.
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