Sovecon ups its forecast for Russia's 2021/22 wheat exports

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MOSCOW, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, on Monday raised its forecast for Russia's wheat exports by 200,000 tonnes to 34.3 million tonnes in the current 2021/22 marketing season which ends on June 30.

Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter with Turkey and Egypt among the largest buyers. Russia and Ukraine, another major exporter, mainly ship their wheat via the Black Sea.

Sovecon said it had raised its estimate due to the current high pace of exports and the increasing ability of Russian wheat to compete on the global market as the rouble falls against the dollar amid rising prices for grain.

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Tensions between Moscow and the West over Ukraine have weighed on the rouble while fears of a disruption to Black Sea grain shipments if the standoff escalates have supported wheat prices in Chicago this month. read more

The United States and other allies have threatened to impose fresh sanctions against Russia if it takes aggressive steps towards Ukraine. Russia denies that it is planning an attack.

"The risk of problems with shipments from the Black Sea region due to the conflict between Russia and the West/Ukraine seems low to us," Sovecon said.

"The limiting factor could be a decrease in importers' demand and their switching to other suppliers, but this scenario looks theoretical for now," it added.

There was no disruption of grain exports from the Black Sea in 2014, Sovecon noted, referring to the time when Moscow annexed the Crimea peninsula from Kyiv.

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Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy and Vladimir Soldatkin; writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Louise Heavens, Kirsten Donovan

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