January 2: The Russian Bear Makes Wheat Even More Bearish

Russia’s wheat exports are dominating the market, leaving the rest of the world to wonder what to do with their wheat.

This is as bearish as it gets.

Fifteen years ago, Russia couldn’t compete against anyone in the agricultural complex. Today, Russian wheat is single-handedly crushing wheat prices around the globe.

The hits just keep coming, as the Russian State Statistics Services just set its massive 2017 grain production numbers.

This is as bearish of a factor as you can get.

All told, the country will produce 134.1 million tonnes of grain this year.

That’s an 11% bump from 2016. The figure also shattered the USDA’s projection back in November of 128 million.

Russia also saw a 16% jump in yields in its wheat fields, another sign that technology and improved farming techniques are being adopted.

The nation has additional land that isn’t in rotation right now — about the size of 2.5 Texases.

This isn’t going to slow down. The current bottleneck is in the export supply chain along the Black Sea. If production continues to climb, investment in this part of the chain will as well. The prospects for U.S. wheat continue to dwindle barring a dramatic shift in the U.S. dollar or the onset of a major geopolitical concern.


Russia 2017 grain harvest estimated up 11% year on year

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – The Russian State Statistics Service estimates that the country’s total grain harvest for 2017 was 134.1 million tonnes, an increase of 11% from 2016, when 120.7 tonnes of grain were harvested.

The Service said 93.9 million tonnes were grown by farming companies, 39.2 million tonnes by commercial private farms, and 1 million tonnes by household farms.

The Ag Ministry said that as of Dec. 18, 2017, 99.1% of cereals and pulses were harvested. All of the wheat and barley had been harvested but 14% of the corn still remained in the field, it said. Therefore, the Ag Ministry said the final data on the grain crop may get adjusted upward at a later date.

In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast that Russia would produce more than 128 million tonnes of grain in the 2017-18 crop year, which would break the record of 127 million tonnes previously set in 1978.

According to the USDA, average wheat and barley yields in Russia for the 2017-18 marketing year are forecast 16% to 19% higher, respectively, than in 2016-17.

H/T: WorldGrain.com
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.