Total Russian grain exports in MY 2019/2020 may reach 45MMT
25.02.2020 19:35 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) —
Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U. S. Department of Agriculture attache in The
Moscow, in Russia, in the upcoming harvesting season, 07/01/2019 — 06/30/2020, wheat production is forecast to reach 73.5 MMT, barley production is likely to reach 19 MMT, corn production will total 13 MMT, and total harvest (including other crops) is forecast to reach 121.5 MMT. Given global market conditions and the Russian crop forecast, it is expected that the Russian Federation will remain the world’s top wheat exporter in MY 2019/2020. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture estimates that exports of all grains (wheat, barley, corn, rye, rice, oats and legumes) will reach 45 MMT vs. 43 MMT per previous estimation. Wheat exports have been revised down to 34 MMT to reflect slow exports in the late fall early winter as well as the recent USDA forecast of 35.7 MMT. Barley and corn are likely to become important exporting crops and their export volume will increase to reach 4.8 MMT (from 4.7 MMT) and to 4.4 MMT (vs. the unusually low 2.8 MMT in MY18/19) respectively. According to the most recent estimate of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture (MinAg), production of grains will reportedly exceed 125 MMT. The Ministry reported that planted areas for grains have shown an outstanding increase in all major regions — from 46.34 million ha in 2018 to 47.4 million ha, i.e. by 0.5 percent. According to the Ministry, production increases can be attributed to the better quality of grains — particularly wheat and barley and the increased harvested area. This serves as a good foundation for the 2020 season harvest. Weather conditions were warm in the fall 2019 and so far in winter 2020, with limited snow cover. There are diverging views on the potential impact of this weather, with some analysts expressing concerns while others minimizing risks in such weather and forecast better wheat quality. As of January 30, 2020, MinAg stated that 5.7 percent of winter crops are estimated to be in poor shape (vs. the usual eight percent). A more precise appraisal of the weather conditions and the related impact should be possible in February-March 2020. Overall, the expansion of planted area should naturally lead to higher production, as well as the changes in area in response to market demands. MinAg aims to diversify the crops planted — from wheat being the major planted crop to oilseeds which have had a record harvest in MY 2019/2020. PRODUCTION Production of the three main grain crops in MY 2019/2020 has so far shown growth due to expansion of harvested area (wheat, barley and corn) and by improved seed quality. Russian official sources report autumn sowing of the main grain crops on a record area of 18.2 million ha or 104.2 percent of the forecast area (vs. 17.6 million ha in 2018). Among other factors that contributed to the growth is usage of modern agricultural technologies, such as fertilizers and modern machinery. According to the preliminary official Rosstat data, production of all grain crops (wheat, barley, corn, rye and legumes) in MY 2019/2020 will total 121 MMT of which wheat constitutes 74.3 MMT which is three percent higher than the MY 2018/2019 production of 72.1 MMT. Barley production is forecast 20.4 percent higher, i.e. from 17 MMT in MY 2018/2019 to 20.5 MMT in MY 2019/2020. Rosstat reports corn production will recover 22 percent from the MY 2018/19 downturn of 11.4 MMT in MY 2018/2019 to 13.9 MMT in MY 2019/2020. By comparison, MinAg predicts that the total grain harvest will exceed 121 MMT due in part to reports that grain yields have increased from 2.54 MMT/ha in 2018 to 2.66 MMT/ha in 2019, or 4.7 percent increase. The Ministry of Agriculture recently reported improved grain quality throughout the country in the MY18/19 season. According to the Ministry, the share of wheat classes 1–4 increased from 74 percent in 2018 to 84.6 percent in 2019, while the amount of feed wheat (fifth class wheat) decreased significantly from 25.7 percent in 2018 to only 15.4 percent. The Ministry attributes this in part to the use of appropriate seeds, i.e. locally produced. One of the Ministry of Agriculture’s strategic objectives is to diversify exports, i.e. not concentrate on wheat, but rather to increase production and exports of such grains as barley, corn, buckwheat, etc. For example, despite being a traditional Russian grain, in 2018/2019 buckwheat production and stocks were low, internal consumption and exports were also down. In order to reverse the situation, authorities encouraged an increase winter buckwheat planted areas. As a result, there has been obvious increase in production number for this grain — from 9.5 MMT in 2017/2018 to 11.4 MMT in MY 19/20. However, any changes to consumption and export have yet to be observed. According to the preliminary data produced by experts for 2020, the autumn sowing area for major grains will be 19.2 mln ha (almost the same as in 2019) or about 1 m/ha lower than Russian official data. MinAg’s 2020 estimates for wheat include: — Spring wheat area for the harvest of 2020 is estimated at 12 mln ha; — Winter wheat areas are expected to be higher than last year; — Total wheat area is expected to come close to the record high of 2009; — The preliminary wheat harvest estimate for 2020 is between 83 to 87 MMT. It is expected that in MY 2019/2020, Krasnodar Krai will remain the main production and wheat exporting territory of the Russian Federation. 1.7 mln ha have been taken to plant winter crops, 1.5 mln ha of which is used to plant wheat. FAS/Moscow estimates wheat harvested area to total 28.1 million ha or 98.1% of the total planted area compared to 26.3 million ha in 2018 and production forecasts increased from 71.6 to 73.5 MMT yearon-year largely due to increase in area harvested and higher reported yield, as well as better quality of seeds noted by experts.
General information: Note: USDA unofficial data exclude Crimean production and exports. However, as of June 2014, Russian official statistics (ROSSTAT) began incorporating Crimean production and trade data into their official estimates. Where possible, data reported by FAS Moscow is exclusive of information attributable to Crimea. Executive Summary: