As per the latest release by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Russia's 2017 production for the three major Russian oilseed crops (sunflowerseed, soybeans, and rapeseed) at 15.3 million metric tons (MMT), a two percent increase from the crop last year. This forecast includes 11.0 MMT of sunflowerseed, a one percent increase from last year, 3.2 MMT of soybeans, a 2 percent increase from last year, and 1.1 MMT of rapeseed, a 10 percent increase from last year. The forecast summary for MY 2017/18 is provided below in Table 1. In the last five years Russia has also increased production of niche oilseed crops, such as oil flax, Camelina, and safflower. In 2016, the total crop of these three oilseeds reached 1 MMT, and FAS/Moscow forecasts the same volume of production for these three crops in 2017. Thus, Russia's total production of oilseeds in MY 2017/18 may reach 16.3 MMT.
USDA forecast sunflowerseed production at 11.0 MMT. This forecast is based on an assumption that the average yield for sunflowerseed (in clean weight) will be, in accordance with the trend line, at approximately 1.54 MT/HA (compared with 1.51 MT/HA in 2016). FAS/Moscow forecasts that sunflowerseed planted area will be 7.4 million hectares, and harvested area will be 7.15 million hectares, almost the same as in 2016. In MY 2016/17, sunflowerseed was harvested from 7.2 million hectares. The FAS/Moscow forecast assumes that, as happened in the previous years, farmers will commit more area to sunflowerseed than the Ministry of Agriculture recommends and/or plans.
Russian area sown to soybeans will continue grow and may reach 2.3 million hectares (slightly higher than the Ministry of Agriculture plans of 2.25 million hectares). This will result in a total of 2.2 million hectares of harvested area. However, yield progress is not forecast. Based on the trend line, the average yield of soybeans will be at best, 1.45 MT/HA. Given normal weather conditions, FAS/Moscow forecasts the soybean crop in MY 2017/18 at 3.2 MMT, three percent higher than in 2016.
USDA forecasts that the MY 2017/18 rapeseed crop will recover to 1.1 MMT, a ten percent increase y-o-y. This forecast is based on the assumption that the area sown to winter rapeseed will increase slightly. Given normal weather conditions and the increase in winter rapeseed, total rapeseed production will increase. Note, yields for winter rapeseed are 70-80 percent higher on average than spring rapeseed yields.
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