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Russia to Export 27 Million Tons of Grain This Year, Zubkov Says

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March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Russia has enough grain to export 27 million metric tons this marketing year and won’t need to limit shipments, said Viktor Zubkov, first deputy prime minister.

“Companies that export grain can calmly sign contracts for April, May and June,” Zubkov said at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today, according to a statement on the government’s website.

Wheat for May delivery fell 1 percent to $6.65 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 3:49 p.m. Moscow time.

Russia has exported 22 million tons of grain so far this marketing year, Zubkov said. The country can ship about 1.5 million tons from state stockpiles in the Southern federal district and about 1 million tons from the North-Western federal district in April and May, he said.

Russia’s carry-over stocks will be 15 million tons by July 1, when the new season starts, which is enough to secure domestic needs, he said.

The government’s decision to export grains without restrictions “will support agricultural companies and will free silos” from the cereal stocks before the new harvest, Yelena Skrynnik, agriculture minister, said in Moscow today.

There will be enough grain in the country by the end of this marketing year and in the next season, which is seen having the same sized harvest as in 2011, Skrynnik said. Russia harvested 93.9 million tons of grains and pulses last year, according to the state statistics data.

The winter crops’ condition is normal compared with the multi-year average, and reports about significant damage in the Krasnodar region won’t affect the new harvest estimate, Skrynnik said. Frosts in the area mostly affected perennial plantings, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow at msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net