SovEcon ups Russian wheat crop forecast but says that USDA’s estimate could be too optimistic

We have upped the 2021 Russian wheat crop forecast by 0.1 mmt to 75.4 mmt. The revision reflects good crop in Siberia.

Good weather conditions in the second half of the summer helped Siberia to produce the highest crop for more than a decade. The region is to produce 10.9 mmt of wheat this year (+12% YOY), the highest amount since 2009 (12.8 mmt). Siberia produces mainly spring wheat with high protein and gluten content.

SovEcon’s forecast now is below recent USDA’s estimate. US analysts recently upped their Russian forecast by 1 mmt to 75.5 mmt. This number doesn’t include the Crimean crop which is 0.9 mmt, as per SovEcon’s assessment.

SovEcon believes that recent harvest data progress has been unreliable and could lead to too optimistic forecasts. In recent weeks, we have seen that some regions have added a substantial amount of harvested wheat. This looks strange as the harvest is over and reported bigger wheat crop numbers were not accompanied by larger harvested area numbers. We estimate this dubious amount at 0.7+ mmt.

The official crop estimate is usually published by Rosstat at the end of December, then revised in March.

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