March 1 (Bloomberg) -- Russia is expected to ship as much as 10 million metric tons of wheat in 2013-14, less than in the year ending on June 30, because of record-low stockpiles, according to Moscow-based consultancy SovEcon.
The grain harvest in Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last season, fell by 25 percent this year after drought hurt crops, according to Agriculture Ministry figures. This will lead to “record low” stockpiles of 9.5 million tons by July 1, Andrey Sizov Sr., director general of SovEcon, said on the sidelines of the Grain Producers’ Union assembly in Moscow on Feb. 27. That’s why the country’s wheat exports are seen at 10 million tons at the most in 2013-14, he said.
Russia is expected to ship 10.5 million tons of wheat this year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Shipments reached 9.9 million tons in the July through December period, according to Russia’s Customs Service data.
“Export flow has been supported by Siberian wheat from such areas as Omsk and Kurgan in the first half of this season,” Sizov said. There’s nothing in those regions now and shipments have been slowing since November, he said.
Many other regions, including the export-oriented southern areas, have minimal stocks, Sizov said, without giving a wheat stock estimate. Grain stockpiles were 19.4 million tons last year, according to the Agriculture Ministry.
Russia exported 14.3 million tons of all grain varieties and legumes so far this season, Sizov said. Shipments, mostly corn and legumes, are seen at 400,000 tons to 500,000 tons this month, similar to February. Total grain exports for 2012-13 are expected to be 15.5 million tons, Sizov said.
The biggest wheat shipper in 2012-13 is expected to be the U.S. with an estimated 28.6 million tons, according to the USDA. The European Union and Canada, each with 18.5 million tons, come next in the ranking, followed by Australia with 16.5 million tons, and then Russia.
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