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UPDATE 1-Russia's 2023 wheat crop is expected to decline y/y - Sovecon

(Adds details, quotes, context)

MOSCOW, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Russia-focused consultancy Sovecon expects Russia's 2023 wheat crop to decline to 84.8 million tonnes from a record 100.6 million tonnes in 2022, it said in a note on Wednesday.

Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter.

Sovecon expects Russia to cut its winter grain sowing area substantially this autumn following heavy rains and relatively low domestic prices for wheat amid a strong rouble currency, it said.

Its preliminary estimate is for Russia's winter grain sowing area to decline to 18.8 million hectares from 19.5 million hectares a year ago.

Winter wheat, sown in autumn for harvesting in summer, typically accounts for 70% of Russia's crop, brings a higher yield than spring varieties and is less vulnerable to weather.

"Conditions for the development of winter crops can be assessed as above average amid good moisture availability," the consultancy added.

It estimates the total pre-harvest wheat area in Russia at 29.1 million hectares in 2023, down 400,000 hectares from this year. (Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Mark Potter)

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