ANALYSIS: Russia's 22/23 MY live up to forecasts, exports up 50% to 45m mt

Russian wheat exports reported a 51% year-on-year increase in the 2022/23 marketing year up to the end of June 30, according to shipping data analysed by Agricensus, at the end of a campaign still marked with a series of disruptions that have threatened to undermine the country's position as a major global supplier.

Nonetheless, total exports reached at least 44.7 million tons of wheat, as country has benefited from a large volume of shipments, record opening stocks, and record production.

The figure corresponds to the official estimate that the Russian ministry announced back in March, which stood at 45 million mt.

The geography of exports has changed significantly since February 2022: many countries have closed for foreign economic activity, due to the risk of being sanctioned, but some, on the contrary, have become more open to the import of Russian grain amid competitive prices.

The top five importers of Russian wheat accounting for 55% of the total export volume, down from 66% last year.

At the same time, some rotation took place in the top five, in particular Algeria, which in terms of purchases exited the top five of the Russian export market last season, now on the list of biggest importers, along with Pakistan.

Otherwise, the major markets remained the same, although Turkey surpassed Egypt as the top importer with 9.1 million mt, a 32% increase versus last year.

Egypt followed with 8.1 million mt, up 61% compared with last year, and Iran moved into third place at 2.7 million mt as the country's wheat imports fell 56% season-on-season.

While Ukraine has often priced more competitively on an FOB basis, the cost of insurance has surged for the region amid the Russian invasion, meaning that Russia often undercuts its Black Sea rival into destination markets.

However, Russia continues to apply measures to restrict trade, such as quotas and taxes - and even a potential minimum export price - without which exports could be larger.

The vessel data does not fully capture exports via land transportation routes (truck or rail) where Russia has shipped significant quantities to Eurasian Economic Union countries, principally Kazakhstan.

Data reported by the Kazakhstan Customs Control Committee show imports of Russian wheat for July 2022 through February 2023 nearly on par with imports for all of 2021/22.

However, in 2021/22, Kazakhstan had a reduced crop, necessitating imports to offset the shortfall.

In 2022/23, Kazakhstan’s production was much larger but has continued to import price-competitive Russian wheat.

Recently, the Kazakhstan government imposed a 6-month ban on imports of wheat by road, aimed at halting imports of low-priced Russian wheat by truck.

Russia stopped publishing its customs data in March 2022, meaning the latest publicly available statistics are from January 2022.

Therefore, AgriСensus used alternative data sources to track exports of grains and oilseeds from Russia.

Port loading and ship data is one source of information, collecting information about the destination of ships, as well as mirror data of key trading partners.