Russian grain exports set to increase

by Holly Demaree
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Perdue AgriBusiness
Russia’s total grain exports is projected to reach, or exceed, 40 million tonnes.
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. —  Despite the bumper grain crop and the historic high wheat crop, Russia’s grain exports from July to September 2016, were lagging behind compared to the same period last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in an Oct. 14 report. Industry analysts attribute this to the absence of wheat exports to Egypt from August to September, due to Egypt’s temporary zero ergot requirements for wheat. Analysts also estimated that since Egypt has restored a 0.05% tolerance for ergot in wheat, Russia’s exports of wheat will exceed exports last year by the end of 2016.

Russia’s total grain exports are projected to reach, or exceed, 40 million tonnes, a target set by Russia’s Ministry of Agriculture for grain exports in market year 2016-17. Despite the expected restoration of wheat exports to Egypt and the decrease of Russia’s wheat export duty to zero until July 2018, the report said, Russia’s wheat exports are constrained by the world versus domestic grain prices and the ruble to the U.S dollar exchange rate. As of October 2016, both factors have influenced Russia’s wheat exports. According to the FAS, world wheat stocks are high and world wheat prices are low. The U.S. dollar to ruble exchange rate continues to be volatile, with a slight strengthening of the ruble during the first part of October when the exchange rate decreased.

The slow exports of grain between July and August 2016 also affected Russia’s grain stocks. Due to the early harvest and the record high grain crop, Russia’s grain stocks, as of Sept. 1, increased from Aug. 1, nearly 15 million tonnes to 45.4 million. According to reports from the Russian State Statistical Service (RSSS), this is the highest Sept. 1 grain stocks level in the last 7 years. 
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