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Russia Grain Inventories Decline 29% to 22.6 Million Tons

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Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Grain stockpiles in Russia, last season’s third-biggest wheat exporter, fell about 29 percent from a year earlier as of Feb. 1, government statistics showed.

Inventories were 22.6 million metric tons, compared with 32 million tons a year earlier, the Moscow-based Federal State Statistics Service said today in an e-mailed statement. Leading agricultural producers held stockpiles of 11.7 million tons, while procurement and milling companies had 10.9 million tons, compared with respective year-earlier levels of 17 million tons and 15 million tons.

Procurement firms and millers had about 7.1 million tons of stockpiled wheat, of which 5.7 million tons was of milling quality, said Rosstat, as the service is known. That was down from about 11 million tons a year earlier, including about 8.9 million tons of milling wheat.

Inventories fell 7.7 percent from a year earlier to about 5.9 million tons in the Central Federal District and slid almost 35 percent to about 5.6 million tons in the Volga Federal District. Stockpiles dropped 37 percent to about 3.2 million tons in the Southern Federal District and plunged 45 percent to 1.1 million tons in the North Caucasus Federal District, which are the closest to Russia’s main export routes.

Rosstat’s figures exclude small private farms and household reserves, which accounted for 22 percent of Russia’s grain crop this season, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

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

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