MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Russia’s 2022 wheat production forecast has been raised 0.6 million tonnes to a new record of 89.2 million tonnes on an improved outlook for the spring wheat harvest by agriculture consultancy Sovecon on June 21, Reuters reported.

Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, particularly to the Middle East and Africa, is expected to start harvesting its new wheat crop in the coming days. Andrey Sizov, head of Sovecon, said the next several weeks will provide initial yield numbers from Russia’s southern regions, firming up wheat crop forecasts, Reuters noted.

Sovecon raised its estimate of Russia’s spring wheat sowing area to 12.65 million hectares from 12.10 million and raised its forecast for the crop’s yields to 1.82 tonnes per hectare from 1.70 as the weather improved in the Volga region and the Urals.

The improved outlook for spring wheat will offset growing problems for winter wheat. Sovecon cut its estimate for the winter wheat yield to 3.89 tonnes per hectare from 4 tonnes due to dry and hot weather in Russia’s south.