September 9, 2011


Russian grain export may increase in September



Russia may export at least 3.3 million tonnes of grain in September as compared to 3.2 million and 2.5 million tonnes in August and July respectively, according to a leading agricultural analyst.


"Exports volumes are a record for the first months of the crop year," the director of the Institute for Agricultural Market studies said.


He added that his forecast included only consignments moving through Russian ports and that some grain could also be shipped from Russia through ports in Ukraine and the Baltic states.


The director said Russia could export a total of 20 million tonnes of grain, including 16.8 million tonnes of wheat and 1.5 million tonnes of barley in the 2011/12 crop year.


He added that this year Russia could also export up to one million tonnes of corn, as it expects corn output to reach 5.7 million tonnes, up from 3.07 million tonnes in 2010.


Russian exporters rushed to ship grain after a nearly year long ban on grain shipments following last year's severe drought was lifted on July 1.


This has caused congestion on railway lines leading to the country's main port of Novorossiisk, prompting the state railway monopoly Russian Railways to impose a temporary ban on grain shipments to the port from Aug 27.


Russian Railways occasionally imposes such bans during good crop years as large shipment volumes stretch its relatively underdeveloped infrastructure.


"The ban is expected to be lifted around September 15," first deputy CEO of Rusagrotrans, Russia's main agricultural commodities carrier by rail and a unit of Russian Railways, said.


He also added that rail and port officials were preparing a plan together with major traders that will help avoid congestion in the future.

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