29 May 2023 18:04

Russia's Agriculture Ministry not yet planning to purchase grain for the state fund - minister

MOSCOW. May 29 (Interfax) - There will not be any additional purchases of grain for the state intervention fund for now, the 3 million tonnes of wheat purchased previously being sufficient, according to the Russian Agriculture Ministry.

"There will be no increase [in the state fund], as three million tonnes have been bought, and this is enough," Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev told reporters on Monday when asked whether the Agriculture Ministry planned to continue purchase interventions on the grain market.

"We will see what happens [on the market], though we do not have any plans yet," Patrushev said.

Purchases of grain for Russia's state intervention fund totaled 3,123,360 tonnes between August 1 and December 30, 2022, according to data from the National Mercantile Exchange, part of Moscow Exchange Group. The purchased grain was worth 47.1 billion rubles.

The purchased grain is enough for three months of flour production, the Agriculture Ministry has said.

Deputy Prime Minister Victoria Abramchenko said at the end of March that the government was thinking of increasing grain purchases for intervention fund by 7 million tonnes to 10 million tonnes, but more financing would be needed. "We are in a tricky dialogue with the Finance Ministry regarding the possibility of increasing additional funding specifically for purchases for the intervention fund. A decision on the allocation has not yet been made. But the parameters have been designated by the grain community - up to 10 million tonnes," she said, adding this is "what will help the market if the surplus, which is now weighing on the market, is not exported."

Rosstat has said Russian agricultural organizations had grain inventory of 20.3 million tonnes at end-April, up 50% from a year previously. Wheat stocks rose 65% to 12 million tonnes and corn 12% to 2.1 million tonnes.