Sovecon raises forecast for Russia’s 2021 wheat crop

MOSCOW, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Russian agriculture consultancy Sovecon said on Tuesday it had raised its forecast for Russia’s 2021 wheat crop by 200,000 tonnes to 75.6 million tonnes due to good yields in Siberia.

Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter, supplying it mainly to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Its crop, dominated by winter wheat, is expected to be lower than in 2020, when it harvested 85.9 million tonnes, due to dry weather.

Siberia, the biggest producer of spring wheat in Russia, is harvesting its wheat crop with yields up 18 percent year on year, Sovecon said in a note.

Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, expects Siberia’s 2021 wheat crop to rise by 1 million tonnes to 10.7 million tonnes – the region’s largest production in 12 years.

Siberia is far from Russia’s Black Sea ports, which export its wheat to other countries, but its production is still crucial for the country’s overall supply and for drought-hit Kazakhstan, which shares a free customs border with Russia.

“Siberia was fortunate to get ample precipitation in the second half of the summer which converted into good or record-high yields while nearby Urals and Kazakhstan suffered from drought,” Andrey Sizov, the head of Sovecon, said in the note.

“Siberia and Russia’s south – located thousand kilometres away from each other – are harvesting bumper crops this year, while many regions between them were close to disaster,” he added.