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Russia Seen by Union as Having Enough Grain Stocks for Exports

Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter, is expected to have enough grain stocks for exports, even if the country consumes 70 million metric tons from this year’s harvest, Grain Union President Arkady Zlochevsky said.

The union expects the country to have up to 19 million tons of carryover grain stocks, he said. That compares with an estimate of 15 million tons from SovEcon, a Moscow-based agricultural consultancy.

“We have no concerns that we are able to harvest enough for domestic supplies and for export,” Zlochevsky said today in a video conference from Moscow, adding there would be a sufficient amount even if the weather is “most unfavorable.”

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said there’s no need for grain export duties this year. He was speaking after a government meeting today, where the official grains forecast was seen at 75 million to 80 million tons.

The forecast for the cereals harvest this year is for 72 million to 75 million tons, with a wheat crop of about 42 million tons, Andrei Sizov Jr., SovEcon managing director, said today at the conference. That’s a similar amount as in 2010 when the country had the worst drought in at least a half century and banned exports, he said.

The Grain Union expects the country to have at least 12 million to 13 million tons of export resources, including carryover stocks, Zlochevsky said.

“To talk about any export restrictions now is unreasonable,” he said. “We have enough time to set restrictions if we need them, but probably we won’t.”

In July, Russia exported more than 2 million tons compared with 2.65 million tons in the year earlier, according to the union.

Russia planted about 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) less wheat this year than in 2010, and average yields are lower, SovEcon said yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Svetlana Antoncheva in Astana, Kazakhstan at santoncheva1@bloomberg.net

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

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