Russia set for second largest grain harvest on record at over 151mn tonnes

Russia set for second largest grain harvest on record at over 151mn tonnes
Russia will bring in the second biggest grain harvest on record this year with over 151mn tonnes of grain. / bne IntelliNews
By bne IntelliNews November 29, 2023

Russia is on track to secure the second largest grain harvest in its history of more than 151mn tonnes, according to Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev. (chart)

The harvesting campaign is nearing completion, with grain and leguminous crops harvested from 98% of the sown area. Patrushev reported at a ministerial meeting that "Over 151mn tonnes of grain in bunker weight have been threshed, including almost 99mn tonnes of wheat. We understand that in 2023 we will receive the second largest harvest in the history of Russia."

The substantial yield not only assures the fulfilment of domestic needs but also sets the stage for exporting record quantities, projected at over 65mn tonnes.

Patrushev highlighted strong increases in the production of staples like rice and buckwheat. The gross rice harvest was more than 1.1mn tonnes, a 24% increase from the previous year, while buckwheat production has reached 1.6mn tonnes, one of Russia's highest-ever yields for the crop.

2023 has also seen a rise in oilseeds, potatoes, vegetables, sugar beets, and other crop productions. "The Russian agro-industrial complex has formed a reliable basis for the food security of our country," Patrushev concluded.

Earlier forecasts by the Agriculture Ministry placed the grain harvest at 123mn tonnes, including 78mn tonnes of wheat. However, President Vladimir Putin said earlier this year that Russia was on course for another bumper harvest of 130mn tonnes. Subsequently, Patrushev confirmed that the farmers had already surpassed the initial forecast, with expectations to meet and potentially exceed the 130mn-tonne target. He also indicated potential exports of up to 60mn tonnes for the season.

Optimistic projections in early October suggested the harvest might reach 135mn tonnes in net weight, with 90mn tonnes of wheat. This forecast was later increased by the Agriculture Ministry to 140mn tonnes.

Russia broke its previous grain harvest record in 2022 with 157.676mn tonnes, a 29.9% increase from 2021, out of which 104.237mn tonnes were wheat. The previous record was set in 2017 with a harvest of 135.539mn tonnes, including 86.003mn tonnes of wheat.