SovEcon, a leading Black Sea agricultural markets research firm, upped the 2021 Russian wheat crop forecast from 79.3mmt to 80.7mmt (85.9mmt in 2020, 85.3mmt ex. Crimea). The barley crop is estimated at 19.6mmt (20.9mmt), corn — at 14.4mmt (13.9mmt). The first estimate of the total grain crop is 128.4mmt (133.5mmt).
The increase in the wheat crop forecast reflects a decrease in the winter-kill estimate and, accordingly, an increase in the pre-harvest area by 0.3 mln ha. Crop conditions improved further in the south, #1 wheat region, on ample and timely precipitation. The average winter wheat yield estimate has been upped as well on a bigger share of the south in the total planting area.
Improving crop conditions in the south were partly offset by bigger winter-kill in the Central Black Earth (#2 wheat region) where farmers report the share of poor crops up to 55% in the eastern areas (Tambov, Lipetsk) thanks to ice-crust / waterlogging in previous weeks
Wheat in Southern Russia entered last winter in the worst shape in a decade. However, 2021 weather was favourable for the region, and crop conditions improved dramatically in recent months.
However, this is not the case for Central Russia, where farmers’ pessimism over new crop has grown after the snow melted, and they could start to inspect their fields.
In the next several weeks after the start of vegetation in the region, we will have more accurate pictures of winter losses.
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