Russia’s Grain Exports Seen by Ministry Falling 17% Year-on-Year

Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last marketing year, shipped 17 percent fewer grains so far this season compared with a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Russia exported 11.4 million metric tons of grain compared with 13.7 million tons in the year-earlier period, the ministry said in a statement today. Exports included 1.06 million tons of grains in the first 21 days of November, it said. Shipments of wheat came to 670,000 tons, barley 189,000 tons, and corn 154,000 tons in the period.

Russia, whose crops were seared by drought this year, is harvesting fewer cereals, which pushes domestic grain prices up and slows down exports. The harvest is expected to be 71 million tons after drying and cleaning, or 25 percent less than 94.2 million tons in 2011, according to ministry estimates.

Grain prices continued to grow “at a moderate pace” in the European part of the country and “significantly” in the Asian part in the week ended today, the ministry said.

The average price of fourth-grade milling wheat, the main export variety among grains, rose 4.1 percent to 8,963 rubles ($289) a ton in the Asian side of the country in the week through today, according to ministry data. It advanced 1.7 percent to 9,693 rubles a ton in European Russia.

With more grain sales from state stockpiles to be conducted later this year, prices are expected to start dropping on the domestic market in the coming weeks, the ministry said.

Wheat for March delivery rose 0.6 percent to $8.67 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 6:21 p.m. Moscow time. It’s gained 33 percent this year.

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