MOSCOW, RUSSIA – Russia’s wheat production for marketing year 2021-22 is forecast to decline by 9% as poor weather in recent months has reduced yield prospects, according to a May 13 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The drop in wheat output, to 77.5 million tonnes, is projected to more than offset increases in corn and barley production of 6% and 7%, respectively. The USDA forecasts Russia’s total grain production to decline by 5% to 118 million tonnes in 2021-22.

“Difficult weather conditions at the end of 2020-21 affected the winter crop and reduced crop yield prospects,” the USDA said. “This is expected to result in the reseeding of large areas with other crops, primarily oilseeds, and in increase in spring-planted crops.”

This follows the 2020-21 total grains crop, which was the second largest on record at 133 million tonnes, just shy of the 135 million tonnes harvested in 2016-17.

The report noted that in 2021 and beyond, intensified government regulation in the Russian Federation will be a significant factor for pricing and overall regulation of the agricultural sector. To address sharply increased domestic prices, the Russian government in December 2020 introduced an export quota of 17.5 million tonnes of grain from Feb. 15 to June 30 of this year.

“Lower production and export restrictions are projected to result in lower grain exports in 2021-22,” the USDA said.

It projects total grain export volume to reach 48 million tonnes in 2021-22, including 40 million tonnes of wheat exports.