Russia, Kazakhastan Working Together to Boost Asia Wheat Sales

Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last season, wants to sell more grain to Asia by combining efforts with neighboring Kazakhstan, said Andrey Slepnev, the Eurasian Economic Commission’s trade minister.

There are no custom borders between the two countries, an arrangement which is overseen by the EEC, which also includes Belarus. Russia and Kazakhstan are also creating common railway tariffs and plan to mesh other transportation industries to expand grain export opportunities, Slepnev said in a Feb. 26 interview in Geneva.

“We are interested in multiplying our efforts to push our grain products to the world market,” he said, adding they’re particularly interested in Asia.

Russia and Kazakhstan are ranked among the world’s top six wheat exporters by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The two countries’ combined wheat exports are expected to be 17 million metric tons in the year which ends on June 30, according to the USDA estimates.

The largest wheat shipper in 2012-13 is expected to be the U.S., with an estimated 28.6 million tons, according to the USDA. The European Union and Canada, each with 18.5 million tons, come next in the ranking, followed by Australia with 16.5 million tons. Russia and Kazakhstan follow in the rankings and would surpass Australia if their export numbers were combined.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jennifer M. Freedman in Geneva at jfreedman@bloomberg.net; Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow at msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net; Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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