A report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says oilseed production in Russia is projected to increase to 21.8M tonnes in 2019/20 - up 14% from the previous year, World Grain reported.

The Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report on 1 May said the rise was due to increased planted area and good weather conditions.

Exports in 2019/20 were forecast to be higher than the previous year with an increase of 9% to 2.23M tonnes, the USDA said.

Production and exports were projected to increase further in 2020/21 but the USDA said the projection for both output and trade were tentative due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Russian Ministry of Agriculture previously stated its intention to expand oilseeds planted areas to boost production and exports,” the USDA said.

“However, the temporary ban on soyabean and sunflowerseed exports following the COVID-19 pandemic will most certainly constrain exports, particularly of sunflowerseed as soyabean exports were relatively minor in 2019/20.”

The Russian oilseed sector had moved closer to full capacity in 2019/20 due to increased production, with the industry reaching 80% of processing capacity.

“The processing sector is running below capacity in the Volga region so further expansion in production or reduction in exports could not be accommodated,” the USDA said.