As of May 4, Russian farmers have sown 3.5 million hectares (mln ha) of wheat, which is 2.7 times higher than last year, SovEcon analysts have estimated. Spring wheat is seeded at a record pace for recent years amid favorable weather conditions and warm temperatures during the sowing campaign.
The warm weather at the beginning of the campaign has provided favorable conditions for active seeding. In the past 30 days, temperatures in the Center of Russia have been 1-4°C above normal, while the Volga Valley has experienced temperatures exceeding the norm by 2-6°C. In the South of Russia, temperatures have remained close to normal levels.
Precipitation levels have also been favorable for Russian wheat during the past month. In the Center, precipitation levels have reached 50-100 mm, which is 100-150% of the normal range. In the South, precipitation has been estimated at 75-100 mm, or 100-125% of the normal range. The Volga Valley has experienced precipitation levels of 10-35 mm, which is slightly below normal.
SovEcon expects a significant slowdown in sowing pace in the upcoming weeks, with the total area expected to be 13.0 mln ha, similar to last year’s estimate of 12.9 mln ha. The decline in profitability of wheat production is anticipated to limit any increase in the sowing area. SovEcon estimates the wheat crop in 2023 to reach 86.8 million metric tons.