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Total Russian grain exports in MY 2019/2020 may reach 45MMT

25.02.2020 19:35 "Agro Perspectiva" (Kyiv) Following are selected highlights from a report issued by a U.S.Department of Agriculture attache in The

Moscow, in Russia, in the upcoming harvesting season, 07/01/2019 06/30/2020, wheat production is forecast to reach 73.5MMT, barley production is likely to reach 19MMT, corn production will total 13MMT, and total harvest (including other crops) is forecast to reach 121.5MMT. Given global market conditions and the Russian crop forecast, it is expected that the Russian Federation will remain the worlds top wheat exporter in MY 2019/2020. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture estimates that exports of all grains (wheat, barley, corn, rye, rice, oats and legumes) will reach 45MMT vs. 43MMT per previous estimation. Wheat exports have been revised down to 34MMT to reflect slow exports in the late fall early winter as well as the recent USDA forecast of 35.7MMT. Barley and corn are likely to become important exporting crops and their export volume will increase to reach 4.8MMT (from 4.7MMT) and to 4.4MMT (vs. the unusually low 2.8MMT in MY18/19) respectively. According to the most recent estimate of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture (MinAg), production of grains will reportedly exceed 125MMT. The Ministry reported that planted areas for grains have shown an outstanding increase in all major regions from 46.34million ha in 2018to 47.4million ha, i.e. by 0.5percent. According to the Ministry, production increases can be attributed to the better quality of grains particularly wheat and barley and the increased harvested area. This serves as a good foundation for the 2020season harvest. Weather conditions were warm in the fall 2019and so far in winter 2020, with limited snow cover. There are diverging views on the potential impact of this weather, with some analysts expressing concerns while others minimizing risks in such weather and forecast better wheat quality. As of January 30, 2020, MinAg stated that 5.7percent of winter crops are estimated to be in poor shape (vs. the usual eight percent). A more precise appraisal of the weather conditions and the related impact should be possible in February-March 2020. Overall, the expansion of planted area should naturally lead to higher production, as well as the changes in area in response to market demands. MinAg aims to diversify the crops planted from wheat being the major planted crop to oilseeds which have had a record harvest in MY 2019/2020. PRODUCTION Production of the three main grain crops in MY 2019/2020has so far shown growth due to expansion of harvested area (wheat, barley and corn) and by improved seed quality. Russian official sources report autumn sowing of the main grain crops on a record area of 18.2million ha or 104.2percent of the forecast area (vs. 17.6million ha in 2018). Among other factors that contributed to the growth is usage of modern agricultural technologies, such as fertilizers and modern machinery. According to the preliminary official Rosstat data, production of all grain crops (wheat, barley, corn, rye and legumes) in MY 2019/2020will total 121MMT of which wheat constitutes 74.3MMT which is three percent higher than the MY 2018/2019production of 72.1MMT. Barley production is forecast 20.4percent higher, i.e. from 17MMT in MY 2018/2019to 20.5MMT in MY 2019/2020. Rosstat reports corn production will recover 22percent from the MY 2018/19downturn of 11.4MMT in MY 2018/2019to 13.9MMT in MY 2019/2020. By comparison, MinAg predicts that the total grain harvest will exceed 121MMT due in part to reports that grain yields have increased from 2.54MMT/ha in 2018to 2.66MMT/ha in 2019, or 4.7percent increase. The Ministry of Agriculture recently reported improved grain quality throughout the country in the MY18/19season. According to the Ministry, the share of wheat classes 14increased from 74percent in 2018to 84.6percent in 2019, while the amount of feed wheat (fifth class wheat) decreased significantly from 25.7percent in 2018to only 15.4percent. The Ministry attributes this in part to the use of appropriate seeds, i.e. locally produced. One of the Ministry of Agricultures strategic objectives is to diversify exports, i.e. not concentrate on wheat, but rather to increase production and exports of such grains as barley, corn, buckwheat, etc. For example, despite being a traditional Russian grain, in 2018/2019buckwheat production and stocks were low, internal consumption and exports were also down. In order to reverse the situation, authorities encouraged an increase winter buckwheat planted areas. As a result, there has been obvious increase in production number for this grain from 9.5MMT in 2017/2018to 11.4MMT in MY 19/20. However, any changes to consumption and export have yet to be observed. According to the preliminary data produced by experts for 2020, the autumn sowing area for major grains will be 19.2mln ha (almost the same as in 2019) or about 1m/ha lower than Russian official data. MinAgs 2020estimates for wheat include: Spring wheat area for the harvest of 2020is estimated at 12mln ha; Winter wheat areas are expected to be higher than last year; Total wheat area is expected to come close to the record high of 2009; The preliminary wheat harvest estimate for 2020is between 83to 87MMT. It is expected that in MY 2019/2020, Krasnodar Krai will remain the main production and wheat exporting territory of the Russian Federation. 1.7mln ha have been taken to plant winter crops, 1.5mln ha of which is used to plant wheat. FAS/Moscow estimates wheat harvested area to total 28.1million ha or 98.1% of the total planted area compared to 26.3million ha in 2018and production forecasts increased from 71.6to 73.5MMT yearon-year largely due to increase in area harvested and higher reported yield, as well as better quality of seeds noted by experts.

General information: Note: USDA unofficial data exclude Crimean production and exports. However, as of June 2014, Russian official statistics (ROSSTAT) began incorporating Crimean production and trade data into their official estimates. Where possible, data reported by FAS Moscow is exclusive of information attributable to Crimea. Executive Summary:

Agro Perspectiva

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