The Sovecon agriculture consultancy said on Wednesday it had raised its forecast for Russia's 2020/21 wheat exports by 1.0 million tonnes to 40.8 million tonnes due to a higher crop estimate and a high pace of exports.
The new forecast is only 100,000 tonnes below record wheat exports which Russia, one of the world's largest suppliers of the grain to other countries, saw in the 2017/18 marketing season.
Sovecon's new 2020/21 forecast for barley and corn exports was downgraded by 300,000 tonnes to 4.9 million tonnes and 3.9 million tonnes, respectively, it said in a note, adding that total grain exports were now expected at 51.2 million tonnes.
The updated wheat estimates are based on the assumption that Russia would impose a grain export quota as proposed by the agriculture ministry and would not introduce a wheat export tax, proposed by some domestic consumers, Sovecon said.
It raised its forecast for Russia's wheat crop by 900,000 tonnes to 85.3 million tonnes and expected traders to speed up exports in coming months before the quota, currently planned for 15 February - 30 June, is imposed.