July 2, 2004
US To Face More Competition From Russia And Former Soviet States In Wheat Exports
Russia and the former Soviet states have become a major player in the world export market. In 2002, they claimed a combined 1 percent of the world's wheat exports. U.S. wheat exports hit their lowest ebb since 1960 that year with only a 21.43 percent share.
The Republic of Kazakhstan by itself claimed 5 percent of world exports in 2002, exporting 229 million bushels out of its total production of 460 million bushels. Russia claimed 11.63 percent of world exports that year.
While the U.S. share of world exports rebounded in 2003, American wheat marketers expect the competition only will grow, said Troy Rigel, vice president for marketing at the W.B. Johnston Grain Co. in Enid.
"The general consensus is that with a free market in Russia and the former Soviet states, we will see them as being a major competitor in the wheat export market for some time to come," Rigel said. "It really is a function of the free market and farmers being allowed to produce for themselves and to create a profit.