Russian wheat harvest slows down to record-low pace

Harvest progress is slow due to extensive precipitation.

As of July 20, only 14% of the planted areas in Russia had been harvested, compared to 22% during the same period last year, as per SovEcon estimate. Harvest progress is slow due to extensive precipitation.

Harvesting efforts are being hampered by unfavorable weather conditions in regions that have started the new harvest campaign. Over the past two weeks, these regions have received up to 150% of the typical amount of rainfall. 

The slow pace of harvesting, combined with damp conditions, may result in lower yields due to lodged crops and diminished quality.

SovEcon’s latest public forecast for wheat production stands at 86.8 million metric tons (MMT), compared to 104.2 MMT last year.

However, it’s still too soon to suggest that slow harvesting could result in some areas remaining unharvested at the season’s end. The current harvest campaign is progressing similarly to 2016, when, despite a slow start, the proportion of harvested areas came close to the average, surpassing 99%.

The weather is presently showing signs of improvement, with the main weather models predicting predominantly dry conditions in Russia’s southern regions.

The slow release of Russian wheat onto the domestic market could impact the pace of Russian wheat exports, which are currently at record-high levels.

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