18 Aug 2010 12:30

UGC exports 630,000 tonnes of grain before mid-August

MOSCOW. Aug 18 (Interfax) - OJSC United Grain Company (UGC) has exported 630,000 tonnes of grain this year under both commercial contracts and in the context of humanitarian programs, the company said.

UGC's first export experience involved Cuba, which the company shipped 100,000 tonnes of food-grade wheat from Russia's Intervention Fund in May-June. The company then shipped 56,800 tonnes of Intervention Fund fodder grain as humanitarian aid to Mongolia, which had been gripped by freezing weather.

The company began commercial grain exports in May, sending 81,700 tonnes of food-grade wheat to Egypt and Jordan, and then 65,500 tonnes of wheat and barley to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt in June.

Exports increased to 151,500 tonnes in July, with grain flowing to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. UGC then shipped what was for it a record amount - 175,600 tonnes - abroad in the first half of August. Overall, the company's commercial contracts involved 474,300 tonnes of wheat and barley purchased both directly from growers and from major grain-supply companies such as OGO and Razgulyai , among others.

UGC has had to temporarily halt its grain exporting due to Russia's August 15 to December 31 ban on grain exports. For the time being, the company's priority is working with grain producers and consumers on the home market, UGC said.

United Grain Company was set up by Russian presidential order in March of last year and is wholly state-owned. The government put stock in thirty agri-business companies into the company's charter capital. The company is now capable of shipping up to 2.5 million tonnes of grain by road and rail per year, and it can transship up to 3.5 million tonnes for export by sea.

UGC is the government's agent for procuring, storing, and selling Intervention Fund grain.