Russia's wheat harvest could hit a record 100 million tons this year, according to SovEcon.
But much of it could end up piling up in Russia instead of getting exported.
Russian food exports are not sanctioned but many firms are cautious about trading with the country.
Russia could see a bumper wheat harvest this year — but that may not translate into abundant exports to combat the world's food crisis.
The country's wheat harvest could hit a record 100 million metric tons this year, according to SovEcon, a research firm focused on Black Sea grains and oilseeds. Russia is the world's top wheat exporter, accounting for about one-fifth of the world's wheat exports, according to US Department of Agriculture data.
The bumper harvest is due to good weather for both winter and spring wheat, Andrey Sizov, SovEcon's managing director told Insider.
—Andrey Sizov (@sizov_andre) September 19, 2022
SovEcon's forecast is a 33% increase over the country's 75.2 million-ton wheat harvest last year, according to the USDA.
But "this huge crop is not fully converting into huge exports," Sizov Bloomberg on Friday. Issues like higher government taxes export taxes, the strong ruble, logistical bottlenecks due to the Ukraine war are keeping Russian wheat stuck at home, he added to Insider and Bloomberg.
Companies could also be boycotting or being extra cautious about trading with the country.
"Although food supplies are exempt from Western sanctions in the interests of combating food insecurity, bankers and insurers are wary of doing business with Russia, while shipping lines are reluctant to risk sending their vessels into a conflict zone," wrote Alexandra Prokopenko, an independent analyst on September 16.
The inter-government International Grain Council forecasts global wheat production at 792 million tons this year — which is more than its global consumption forecast of 785 million tons, according to the council's report released on Thursday.
Benchmark wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade are up about 20% this year so far after surging nearly 70% year-to-date to $12.94 a bushel in March.
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