Russia’s wheat crop exceeds 95 million tonnes

According to government data, Russian farmers have already harvested an area of 25.1 million hectares, which accounts for 85% of the planted area

Russia’s wheat harvest advanced another six percentage points during the week to September 12, with almost 95 million tonnes now in the bins, official government data showed Tuesday.

Russian farmers had already harvested an area of 25.1 million hectares, which accounts for 85% of the area planted - while some local analysts have already talked of a harvest in excess of 100 million tonnes.

The yield shrank week-on-week by 3%, to 3.77 tonnes per hectare, which is still 30% higher than the equivalent figure this time last year.

The lack of high protein content wheat

An analysis of the grain harvest showed that in Russia, there is still virtually a total absence of first-class grain (14.5% of protein content), and second-class (13.5%) grain only amounts to 0.2% of the total harvested area.

The share of wheat in grades 3-4 (10-12.5% protein content) is 80%, with a share of 37% and 43%, respectively, while feed wheat amounted to 20%.

Such data, released by the National Agrarian Agency, was provided by the Center for Grain Quality Assessment and is dated September 7, when 10.4 million tonnes had been surveyed - some 10% of the current gross harvest of the surveyed regions.

At the same time, local analysts expect a relatively high proportion of grade 5 feed wheat and have said that such a result would be in keeping with data for good harvest years such as the current one.

However, it is shaping up to be comfortably the country’s biggest wheat crop ever, with a number of local analysts calling production at over 95 million tonnes - including Russia-based analytical agency Rusagrotrans, which is calling for production at 99 million tonnes.

The US Department of Agriculture once again raised the forecast for the harvest of wheat in Russia this season to 91 million tonnes, which is 3 million tonnes more than last month. However, the department left exports at the same level - at 42 million tonnes.

Barley and rapeseed harvest outlook

Meanwhile, the barley harvest progressed by four percentage points during the period, with 91% of the planned area completed on 7.2 million hectares, accounting for 22.6 million tonnes.

Average barley yields dropped during the week by around 3% to 3.1 tonnes per hectare – although the figure is still 29% higher than at the same stage of last year.

The rapeseed harvest has now exceeded 2.7 million tonnes from 941,600 hectares, or 49% of the total planted area.

The yield remained unchanged at 2.4 tonnes per hectare – a 24% increase compared with results shown at the same stage back in 2021, while the pace of harvesting was 47% faster than last year.

The pace of harvesting spring crops was significantly behind last year’s figures, as farmers missed the optimal dates for sowing due to the cold weather.

The pace of corn harvesting is 58% behind last year - 90,400 hectares harvested or 3% completed, with 490,800 tonnes threshed.

The average yield stood 22% above the previous year’s values and amounted to 5.4 tonnes per hectare.

As for sunflower seeds, farmers had already harvested an area of 574,400 hectares, which accounts for 6% of the area planted, with a harvesting lag of 19% compared to last year.

The yield showed a 37% increase compared with results shown at the same stage back in 2021 at 1.6 tonnes per hectare.

Finally, the soybean harvest has so far reached 406,100 mt from 188,700 ha, or 5% of the total planted area, with an average yield of 2.1 tonnes per hectare.

That is 33% higher than last year’s indicator, while the harvest lag to the previous year stands at 30 percentage points.

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