Last week, SovEcon upped the new Russian wheat crop forecast by 2.2 mmt to 84.6 mmt. The new crop is approaching an all-time high of 86 mmt on further crop conditions improvement in June and a slightly bigger spring planting area. Russia is #1 wheat exporter.
The weather has been friendly for winter wheat all over Russia in recent months. All regions have been receiving ample precipitation boosting yields outlook. Yields in the South (#1 wheat grower) are predicted to be close to record-high this year. Plants in the Center (#2) continued to recover after very challenging conditions in late winter and early spring.
The precipitation also helped spring wheat in the Center and parts of the Volga Valley.
The weather remained challenging for spring wheat in the eastern part of the Volga Valley, the Urals and Siberia suffering from dryness.
Russian farmers also seeded slightly more spring wheat compared to earlier SovEcon’s estimate. At the end of the campaign the number stood at 13.1 mln ha compared to 13 mln ha.
We expect to see higher crop numbers from local forecasters soon as well as good crop conditions are being confirmed by high starting winter barley yields in Krasnodar. The region has harvested the crop from around 80K ha with an average yield of 6.2 mt/ha, this could imply wheat yields close to record high 6.2 mt/ha achieved in 2017.
USDA forecasted 86 mmt Russian wheat crop in June’s WASDE. In the next revision, they will probably reflect a higher spring wheat area (they forecast was only 12.3 mln ha) but their winter wheat area is likely to remain too optimistic in our view (17 mln ha, ex.Crimea; SovEcon – 16.8 mln ha, inc. 0.4-0.5 mln ha in Crimea).
Follow the Black Sea grain market
Get your free trial of The Sizov Report — an analytical service covering agricultural markets of Russia, Ukraine and KazakhstanTry for free