SovEcon has increased its 2024 Russia’s wheat crop forecast by 0.9 million metric tons (MMT) to 92.2 MMT. The estimate was upped amid favorable weather conditions for winter wheat development.
The new Russian wheat crop is expected to match 2023 level. According to Rosstat, the 2023 wheat crop totaled 92.8 MMT.
Favorable weather for winter wheat has contributed to positive crop prospects. Since the beginning of January, precipitation in the main winter crop regions has been twice the norm, resulting in snow depths reaching 10 cm in the South, 30 cm in the Central region, and 50 cm in the Volga region.
Due to the abundant snow cover, the first significant cold snap of the season had minimal impact on the winter crops. Soil temperature at the winter crops’ tillering node depth remained above critical levels in all main regions, even when air temperatures fell to -30 °C.
Weather models forecast temperatures 2-4 °C above normal for the second half of January, with 20-25 mm of precipitation expected in most regions. These conditions continue to indicate good prospects for the upcoming Russian wheat crop.
Improving weather conditions over the past few months bode well for the new crop. If there are no substantial weather anomalies, these positive prospects for the Russian harvest could start exerting pressure on global prices around the end of 1Q 2024.