November 12, 2004
Russian 2004-05 Wheat Exports Seen at 2.7 Million Tons
Russia's wheat exports during the first three months of the 2004-05 marketing year (July-June) totalled 2.7 million metric tons, or 35% more than in July-September 2003, according to preliminary customs figures, the news agency Prime-Tass reported Thursday.
In October, wheat exports increased to 1.266 million tons from 1.057 million tons in September. Russia's exports so far in 2004-05 are "significant, comparable with record-high volumes exported in 2002-03," the domestic analytical agency SovEcon said. During July-September of 2002-03, Russia exported around 2.8 million tons of wheat.
But exports this season are unlikely to reach the 2002-03 levels, as wheat output is expected to be smaller than in 2002, at around 44 million tons against 50.6 million tons in 2002.
Russia's barley exports remained weak, dropping to 241,000 tons during July-September from 1.15 million tons in the same period of 2003. In September, barley exports stood at 105,000 tons, while Russia exported 558,000 tons of barley in September 2003.
The Russian government expects 2004-05 grain exports at around 8 million tons, up from 5.85 million tons in 2003-04. The government plans no restrictions for grain exports this season, while a special export duty was imposed for wheat and rye in January 2003 to discourage exports. The duty was lifted in early May.
The increase in exports is expected on the back of increased grain output, which is expected at 76 million tons, up from 67.2 million tons in 2003.