Russia Exports 5.3 Million Tons of Grain as G-20 Meeting Set

Russia, last season’s third-biggest wheat exporter, has shipped 5.3 million metric tons of grains so far this season, or more than a third of its forecast.

Shipments are down 19 percent from a year earlier, Deputy Agriculture Minister Ilya Shestakov said at the 18th Black Sea Grain and Oilseeds conference in Moscow today. Russia may run out of grain available for exports in November, a Bloomberg survey of traders showed last month. Exports were forecast on Aug. 31 to be 10 million to 14 million tons.

Group of 20 officials will meet in October to discuss food prices and whether it’s necessary to coordinate any response, Shestakov said. Wheat prices have jumped 34 percent this year as drought in Russia and the U.S. curbed supplies. Food prices jumped to a record in 2011 after Russia banned grain exports for 10 months because of the worst drought in half a century.

“There are no fundamental factors for a repeat of a global food crisis now,” Shestakov said. Russia may start grain sales from stockpiles if necessary before December, he said.

Russia will be able to meet domestic demand and its targeted exports, Shestakov said. The harvest is 56.5 million tons of grain for this season by yesterday, down from 66 million tons a year earlier, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov told reporters in Moscow today. The wheat crop has reached 33.6 million tons, compared with 41 million tons in 2011, he said.

Wheat Crop

Russia’s wheat harvest will be 40 million tons, Shestakov said. That compares with 40 million to 42 million estimated on Aug. 31. The barley output will be 14.1 million tons, he said.

In 2010, Russia’s wheat production was 41.5 million tons. Prices rose 47 percent that year.

Russia’s grain total this year is seen at 70 million to 75 million tons, Shestakov said. Grain resources for the year are seen at 90 million to 95 million tons when carry-over stocks are taken into account.

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