Russia wheat crop seen at 81.7mn T, weather stress limited: Agritel
Wheat production in Russia, the world’s largest exporter of the cereal, is expected to be 81.7 million tonnes this year, up 13% compared with 2018, as hot, dry conditions this month have had a limited impact on yields, French consultancy Agritel said.
The forecast, following a field tour in southern Russia on June 10-14, was above Agritel’s initial Russian wheat harvest estimate of 79.2 million tonnes published in April.
“Despite the hot and dry weather that settled in June, we believe that this phenomenon should not have a significant impact on the final yield since wheat already reached the ripening stage,” Agritel said in a note on Wednesday.
Some analysts have trimmed their expectations for Russia’s wheat harvest in light of the recent hot, dry spell.
Agritel said it expected the average yield for winter wheat in Russia to reach 4.03 tonnes per hectare (t/ha), up 11% from last year and close to a record 4.17 t/ha in 2017.
For spring wheat, it projected a yield of 1.67 t/ha on the basis of a long-term trend, saying it was too early to make firm forecasts and weather in the coming weeks would be important.
That spring yield would be slightly below last year’s.
Regarding wheat quality, crucial for export markets, Agritel said dry conditions at the end of the growth cycle should boost protein levels to above last year’s levels.
However, specific weight, another measure of milling quality, would have to be monitored as very high temperatures in June can affect readings, it added.