The Russia-focused Sovecon agriculture consultancy raised its forecast for Russia's July-June wheat exports by 300,000 tonnes to a new record high of 42.6 million tonnes.
Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter supplying mainly the Middle East and Africa.
Exports will be supported by a record-sized crop, which Sovecon currently expects at 89.2 million tonnes, and relatively large carry-in stocks, the consultancy said.
Lack of freight due to the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow since it sent troops to Ukraine on 24 February could be the biggest hurdle for exports at the start of the season on 1 July, Sovecon added.
'Shipowners are still cautious about sending ships to the region amid the military operations and the risk of falling under sanctions, the same factor complicates payments for the Russian grain,' Sovecon said.
Demand For Russian Wheat
Reduced supply from Ukraine, whose Black Sea ports have been blocked for four months, could support demand for Russian wheat in markets where Russia and Ukraine are both big suppliers - the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
Russia will change its formula for calculating grain and sunflower oil export taxes to support shipments amid a strong rouble currency, the economy ministry said on Tuesday.
If this process leads to a decrease in state grain export taxes, it would provide a significant boost to Russian exports, Sovecon said.
The wheat export tax is currently set at $146.1 per tonne for 29 June – 5 July.