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Russia Sees a Small Grain Stockpile for the Season End in June

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Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last season, will have sufficient grain and a “small” amount of carry-over stocks at the end of the season on June 30, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.

He didn’t give a specific estimate. Deputy Agriculture Minister Ilya Shestakov said on Nov. 21 that grain stocks may fall to a “critical level” of about 6 million metric tons if Russia exports 15.5 million tons of grains this season. Shipments reached 11.4 million tons by Nov. 26, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Interest in exporting grain is declining as prices in Russia and abroad are leveling off, Dvorkovich said after a government meeting in Moscow today.

The Agriculture Ministry forecast a 25 percent-drop in the harvest this season after drought seared crops across the country. The ministry expects the grain crop to reach 71 million tons after drying and cleaning, down from 94.2 million tons in 2011.

Russia may have a “decent crop” in the season starting July 1, 2013, taking into account the current condition of winter grains, Dvorkovich said without providing an estimate. The total area sown is expected to be bigger than in 2011, he said.

Russia’s weather center said yesterday 8 percent of winter plantings are in bad condition, compared with an average of 6.1 percent. The rest of the crops are in good and satisfactory shape. Seeds on 500,000 hectares (1.2 million acres) in the south of the country, or about 3.2 percent of the total area sown, failed to sprout as of Nov. 25, according to its data.

Seeds in the south may still emerge and develop in the spring of 2013 if the weather is favorable, which would be positive for next year’s crop, Vladimir Petrichenko, director of Moscow-based consultancy OOO ProZerno, said by phone in Moscow yesterday.

Wheat for March delivery was little changed at $8.9175 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 3:31 p.m. Moscow time.

To contact the reporters on this story: Olga Tanas in Moscow at otanas@bloomberg.net; Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow at msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

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

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