19 Nov 2020 13:56

Russia gains advantage in grain exports to N. Africa due to drop in EU exports - watchdog

MOSCOW. Nov 19 (Interfax) - Russia has gained an advantage in exports of grain to North Africa against the backdrop the decline in shipments from the European Union, which have fallen by more than a quarter, Russian plant and animal health watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said.

Russia exported 23.3 million tonnes of grain in the period from July 1 to November 10, 18% more than a year earlier, Rosselkhoznadzor said. Wheat exports rose 14% to 19.5 million tonnes and barley exports surged 80% to 3.1 million tonnes.

The main export markets were Egypt, which imported 3.9 million tonnes; Turkey with 3.6 million tonnes; Saudi Arabia with 1.9 million tonnes; Bangladesh with 1.1 million tonnes; and Iran with 1 million tonnes.

Russia has every chance of expanding the geography of its grain exports this year, including to regions previously dominated by suppliers from the EU, Rosselkhoznadzor said. One of the reasons for this is that Algeria and Morocco, the main markets for French wheat, have eased import restrictions.

"Domestic exporters have a major opportunity to increase the share of Russian grain in North African countries," Rosselkhoznadzor said.