Russia has shipped 1.2 million tons of wheat in the first two weeks of this agricultural year, Interfax reported, citing comments from Russian Grain Union analyst Elena Turina. The number of countries buying its wheat has halved to 12 from a year earlier, but “shipments to countries that are our traditional buyers have sharply increased,” she said.
A major grain exporter, Russia is expected to have a record crop this season. Wheat prices are still much higher than usual for this time of year, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine cut the country’s grain shipments. Elsewhere heat, drought and storms are shrinking harvests.
Turina said that Russian wheat had become more competitive after the country’s export tax switched to rubles from dollars, causing the price to fall significantly.
The blistering pace so far is a sign that complications due to sanctions and the war aren’t yet stopping Russia exporting food, even if it’s facing problems with insurance and shipping.
Russia’s average wheat yield is also 24% higher than last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry. Still, it’s early in the season, and good weather may have helped the early export pace.