SINGAPORE — More than 200 people from 21 countries attended the II International Grain Trade Conference “Asia – Russia” from Feb. 21-23 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore, the Russian Grain Union reported.

Leading experts from major grain producing countries covered several topics including estimates of the current state and trends of the world grain market, major results of 2011, the impact of financial markets, problems of risk management in the international grain trade and Russian grain export prospects to the countries of Southeast Asia.

The welcoming speech was presented by Deputy Head of Agrifood Market Regulation and Infrastructure Development, Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Artem Krestianinov; Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Japan Sergey Egorov; and President of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevskiy.

The first session “International grain trade in 2011-12 – challenges of a new season” was moderated by Zlochevskiy. Presenters covered the current situation in the Russian grain sector, and an overview of the Kazakhstan grai market.

The afternoon session had a more global nature with discussion on problems of the world grain market as well as prospects for grain demand and supply in Southeast Asia. Daron Hoffman, director of research Shanghai, Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory, Rabobank Nederland, outlined trends in the world grain market. Chris Rittgers, regional U.S. Department of Agriculture Attaché for Malaysia and Singapore explained trends in the U.S. wheat market.

The second session of the conference was entirely devoted to the prospects and challenges that Russian grain will inevitably face in Southeast Asia. Presenters covered the prospects for Siberian flour exports to the Asia-Pacific region. Commercial Director of SKAT-A Peter Minin told participants about port infrastructure in the Black and Azov seas.

The final session of the conference was devoted to grain business risk management, namely trade, transport, operational and financial risks. The event closed with a gala reception.

Sponsor of the conference included SKAT, Inflot, Sea Trade Group (Pakistan) and KAZBRAND (Kazakhstan), and Schyolkovo Agrochim.