Supply Chain

Russia Harvests Rare Highest-Class Wheat As Dry Summer Boosts Crop Quality

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Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, has produced some highest quality wheat for the first time since the start of this season as a dry summer boosted protein content, officials said on Friday.

The global supply of spring wheat for bakers is tight this year due to drought in North America. Russia's ability to make up some of the shortfall is limited as its wheat may fail to match gluten strength and other important aspects of US and Canadian wheat.

About 300 tonnes of first-class wheat were registered during monitoring of the new crop in Russia's central Voronezh region, the state centre in charge of grain quality assessment said in a statement.

Hot and dry weather reduced the size of the crop in Russia this summer compared to initial estimates but boosted the protein content in some regions.

"The protein in the south is even better than it needs to be," a Russian trader said.

Wheat Crop

The wheat crop in Russia that is exported to Africa and the Middle East usually produces mainly third and fourth class wheat, which contains less protein than first and second-class grain.

Those are up this year, though harvesting is still underway.

The inspected part of the crop so far shows 43.7% of wheat of third class, up from 32.0% in 2020, according to the centre. The share of fourth-class wheat is at 41.8% vs 40.3% in 2020.

"We expect a harvest of exceptional quality this season," BIO-TON Agri Corp with 450,000 hectares of land in Russia's Volga region, told Reuters.

It said it harvested some first-class wheat with 14.5% protein content this year for the first time since 1984.

In February of this year, Russia announced plans to switch to a formula-based tax on wheat exports in a bid to curb food inflation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Supply Chain stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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