RUSSIA — Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, will export more wheat in the new July-June marketing season due to a large harvest and stockpile, Reuters reported, citing IKAR consultancy.

Russia may export 39 million tonnes of wheat in the 2022/23 season, which starts on July 1, Dmitry Rylko, the head of IKAR, told a conference in Geneva. In the current season, they have placed export estimates at 32.0-32.5 million tonnes.

The country’s 2022 wheat crop, which is due to arrive this summer, is expected to reach 85 million tonnes, Rylko said, in what he called a “conservative” estimate. He previously expected a harvest of 83.5 million tonnes.

Sovecon, another agriculture consultancy in Moscow, raised its forecast for Russia’s wheat crop by 1.2 million tonnes to a new record-high of 88.6 million tonnes. Adding that amid good weather conditions, production could be higher.

Sovecon estimated Russia’s 2022/23 wheat exports at 41 million tonnes earlier in May. Projecting that this will account for more than 20% of the 2022/23 global wheat trade.

“Russia’s importance to the global wheat balance in the new season is likely to be unprecedented,” Andrey Sizov, the head of Sovecon, said on social media.

Russia, which competes mainly with the European Union and Ukraine for wheat supplies to the Middle East and Africa, has been limiting its grain exports with taxes and an export quota since 2021 amid efforts to slow domestic food inflation.

The current state export quota, which Russia tends to set for February-June each season, will expire on June 30. The export tax, which the agriculture ministry sets on a weekly basis, will remain.

Asked about the possibility of an export ban from Russia at the conference, Rylko said that it was very unlikely as the country would have a large crop and record-high carry-over stocks. Adding that “Russia’s strategic goal now is to ensure uninterrupted exports of what may be a massive harvest.”

Exports from Russia are crucial for the global wheat supply and demand balance, especially in the upcoming season as Ukraine’s Black Sea ports remain blocked after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on 24 February.

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE.