Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Russian harvest 31% up on last year

Russia reports the current harvest stands at 82mmt which is 31% more than the same point last year.

Much back slapping can be heard echoing out over the Russian steppe as all those involved congratulate themselves on such a fine achievement.

But before we crack open the shampanski it's worth taking a closer look at those headline figures.

Total crop harvested is way up on last year at 31% but yield per hectare is actually up only 8% (H16 3.0mt/ha, H15 2.8mt/ha).

The current harvest has combined 4.8mha more than at the same point last year (H16 27.1mha, H15 22.8mha).

So the current barn busting headline figure is because yield is up a bit on last year but combines have cut more hectares to date.

I know we shouldn't extrapolate as there is still a long way to the finish line but I'm going to anyway.

If today's yield per hectare was taken from last years hectares then the current combined collective harvest would be 8% up on last year.

Impressive but not as cool as 31%.

At this stage we are only really interested in how wheat is performing as the other crop harvest (corn, sunflower) are only just getting underway but the same scenario plays out.

The overall wheat crop is up 30% on last year driven by an 8% increase in yield (H16 3.4mt/ha, H15 3.2mt/ha) and an additional 2.8mha gathered.

Wheat yield is up but with crop still to be cut and conditions deteriorating I think we may well see that extra 8% drop before we are done.

We'll discuss wheat quality in another post.