Russian wheat production is forecast increase from last year, Gro’s model shows, and that could lead to greater exports at a time when global wheat supplies are tight and prices high.
Russia, normally the world’s largest wheat exporter, has set limits on wheat exports to quell domestic food price inflation. The export curbs are due to expire in June. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February further blocked shipments from the region by blocking much of Ukraine’s wheat exports.
The Russian wheat crop’s favorable outlook contrasts with poor prospects in other breadbasket regions. The world’s wheat-growing regions collectively are experiencing the lowest soil moisture levels since at least 2010, according to an aggregation of global growing conditions weighted for worldwide wheat acres using Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator for Agriculture. The same aggregation shows the Gro Drought Index at its highest reading since at least 2003.
Globally, wheat production in 2022/23 is projected to fall for the first time in four years.
Russia’s winter wheat, which accounts for 70% of total wheat production, benefited from mild temperatures and adequate precipitation throughout April as the crop emerged from dormancy, as shown by Gro’s Climate Risk Navigator. Weather in May and June will largely determine final yield, and Gro’s machine-learning Russia Winter Wheat Yield Forecast Model can be monitored for daily updates through to harvest, which begins in July.
The forecast increase in Russia’s winter wheat production would more than offset a projected decline in spring wheat, which is harvested in late August. Winter wheat is mostly grown in the Southern, Central, North Caucasus, and Volga districts, as shown via Gro’s Crop Cover. Spring wheat is mainly planted in regions bordering Kazakhstan, including the Volga, Urals, and Siberian districts.