Russian South, key wheat region, received ample precipitation just in time to improve new crop prospects, SovEcon said in its weekly note. Recent weather conditions helped to offset precipitation deficit in the region.
The Southern region, comprising Southern and North Caucasus Federal Districts, is the key Russian wheat region typically accounting for 36% of total crop. In the 2021/22 season, 34.0 million metric tons (MMT) of wheat were harvested in the South, representing 45% of all Russian wheat.
Since last fall, the weather in the South has been unfavorable for wheat, mainly due to a lack of precipitation. During previous three months the region received 40-60% of normal precipitation. As a result, accumulated moisture deficit reached 30 mm.
In February, SovEcon lowered 2023 wheat crop estimate by 0.7 MMT to 85.3 MMT. Winter wheat estimate was revised to 60.9 MMT from 61.6 MMT in January, amid lack of moisture in the South before the beginning of the winter wheat’s vegetation period.
During the last two weeks, the South has received 30-80 mm of precipitation, which was two-three times higher than the average. This has fully offset precipitation deficit in the region.
The improved weather implies that Russian winter wheat is approaching its vegetation stage in the key growing region in much better condition than several weeks ago. 2023 crop outlook has improved noticeably.