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Russia's 2024/25 wheat exports may reach 46.9 mln tons, says Rusgrain Union

MOSCOW, May 17 (Reuters) - Russia's wheat exports in the 2024/25 season could amount to 46.9 million metric tons, according to a consensus forecast by the Russian Union of Grain Exporters.

The Rusgrain union decided to publish weekly consensus forecasts “in connection with recent natural disasters that significantly affect the volume of production of grain and other basic agricultural crops” until the situation normalises.

This is the first such forecast.

The agriculture ministry estimated wheat exports for the 2022/23 season at 47 million tons.

The 2024 grain harvest in Russia - the world's biggest exporter of wheat - suffered from a prolonged return of frost in May, which affected the central and part of the southern regions of the country. As of May 16, eight regions had introduced a state of emergency due to the destruction of crops.

Overall grain exports from Russia in the next season, which starts on July 1, are estimated at 59.1 million tons, according to the union's forecast.

The consensus forecast for the grain harvest in 2024 is 134.5 million tons, of which 86.8 million tons are wheat.

Eduard Zernin, head of the Rusgrain union, said about 20 companies - members of the union and its partners - took part in the survey.

Russia's agriculture ministry has estimated the area replanted due to the May frost to date at 900,000 hectares.

The state weather forecaster still predicts unfavourable weather conditions in a number of regions. In addition to frost, dry weather is affecting the harvest in the south of the country.

The ministry has not changed its grain crop forecast of 132 million tons and still estimates record grain exports this season. Before the weather anomalies, the ministry estimated exports at about 70 million tons. (Reporting by Olga Popova; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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