July 12, 2011


USDA expects Russia's grain exports to triple in 2011-12



Russia's grain exports are forecast to almost triple in the 2011-12 season to 12.5 million tonnes, up from 4.6 million tonnes last season, after the Kremlin lifted its ban on shipments on July 1.


This includes 1.5-1.6 million tonnes exported in July this year, the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Moscow attaché said in a report on Monday (Jul 11).


Russia's grain harvest is expected to rise to 85.5 million tonnes, which is in line with industry estimates of 83-90 million tonnes. The harvest forecast includes 52.5 million tonnes of wheat, 16.5 million tonnes of barley, and five million tonnes of corn.


Opening stocks for the 2011-12 season are pegged at 13 million tonnes, including 11.6 million tonnes of wheat, 900,000 tonnes of barley and 500,000 tonnes of other grains, shored up by last season's export ban.


The report also noted that exporters remain uncertain over whether the Kremlin will intervene in markets again, as both government and Central Bank officials have said duties might be imposed if domestic prices rise too much.


"Despite the government's assurance of allowing exports to resume on July 1, 2011, the uncertain policy situation has kept prices artificially low in Russia and exporters have had to discount their grain," the report said.

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