Russian Trader Ousts Glencore as Country’s Top Grain Shipper

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Russia’s OOO Trading House RIF replaced Glencore Plc as the country’s largest grain exporter last season, the first time a local company held the top ranking.

RIF shipped 2.55 million metric tons of grain in the season that ended June 30, according to data compiled by Moscow-based market researcher OOO ProZerno that’s based on government statistics. Glencore exported 2.54 million tons, Cargill Inc. was third and Olam International Ltd. fourth.

Russia exported more grain last season than ever before, even as the government restricted outbound wheat shipments from February to mid-May to aid domestic supplies and lower bread costs. International sales advanced after farmers gathered the second-largest post-Soviet crop of 105.3 million tons.

RIF bought grain from farmers at “super good prices” that appeared to make little profit, Vladimir Petrichenko, ProZerno director general, said by phone. It was the first time since the researcher started compiling rankings that a Russian-owned company was the top shipper, said Petrichenko, who has been running ProZerno since 2007.

RIF boosted exports after it began using two deep-water ports in Novorossiysk on the Black Sea in March, Petr Khodykin, who owns the company, said by phone from Rostov, where the firm is based. That allowed an additional 100,000 tons to 200,000 tons to be shipped each month, and cooperation between the company and the ports will continue this season, he said.

The company boosted grain shipments more than eightfold in the 2013-14 season, when it exported 1.95 million tons, after the terminal it uses on the Don River trebled capacity.

Glencore spokesman Charles Watenphul declined to comment.

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