13 Apr 2023 16:45

Russian grain exports this season to be around 56-58.5 mln tonnes - expert

MOSCOW. April 13 (Interfax) - As the end of the current farming year draws near (ending June 30, 2023), grain market experts have more clearly defined their export estimates, with little variation between them. In their opinion, exports this year could range from 56 million to 58.5 million tonnes, including 46 million to 48 million tonnes of wheat.

"Based on the current trends of shipments, we can say that exports of grain and leguminous crops this season will total around 58-58.5 million tonnes, including 47.5-48 million tonnes of wheat," independent expert Alexander Korbut told Interfax.

According to him, these figures do not take into account data on the export of flour and other processed products in terms of grain. "There could be another 1-1.2 million tonnes plus in terms of grain with processed products," he said.

Korbut did not forecast grain exports for the new season (beginning July 1, 2023). "It will depend on the harvest. In terms of forecasting the harvest, I'm still inclined to the upper limit of the forecast published earlier by the Agriculture Ministry - 127 million tonnes," he said. "And given the fact that carryover stocks will be about 28 million tonnes, our export potential will be quite good, although, of course, lower than in the current season," the expert said.

Dmitry Rylko, head of the Institute of Agrarian Market Studies (IKAR), estimates that total grain exports will be 57 million tonnes, including 46 million tonnes of wheat. "This estimate has been held for a long time. April will be a good month for shipments, but not as strong as we thought a couple of weeks ago, because the weather in the ports lets us down," he said.

At the same time, IKAR lowered its estimate for barley exports to 5 million tonnes from the 5.5 million tonnes forecast previously. "It is possible that this forecast will be lowered as well," Rylko said, not ruling it out.

Deputy head of the United Grain Company (UGC) Ksenia Bolomatova is forecasting grain exports of 56-57 million tonnes. Her estimate is provided by the Agriculture Ministry's Agroexport center.

"As for us, as exporters, we are traditionally among the top five," she said.

According to her, in this regard, it is crucial for the company to create its own fleet. "If we say that we are a commodity logistics operator, we have to guarantee delivery to the final consumer," Bolomatova said. "If we used to work from field to ship, now, given the restrictions we face, we realized that Russia, being the largest exporter of wheat, is obliged to have its own fleet."

Russia exported 38.1 million tonnes of grain in 2021/2022, including 30.7 million tonnes of wheat.