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CIS Grain Roundup: Russian, Ukrainian 2004-05 exports
Prime-Tass, March 25, 2004
Russian and Ukrainian winter grain crops have benefited from a relatively mild winter, and the damage is not expected to exceed the average 10%, compared to large losses last year. The news has strengthened hopes that Russia and Ukraine will be able to resume large exports in the 2004-05 marketing year.
Ukraine expects to export 7-8 million tonnes of grain next season, compared with less than 2 million tonnes expected in 2003-04, according to the deputy prime minister in charge of agriculture Ivan Kyrylenko. Wheat will again become the major grain export item in 2004-05, while this season Ukraine has to import over 2 million tonnes of wheat, and its grain exports consist of feed barley and corn.

Ukraine expects to harvest 32-35 million tonnes of grain, up from 20.2 million last year, when the poorest crop in over 50 years was registered.

Russia's agriculture ministry expects grain harvest at 75-80 million tonnes in bunker weight, which corresponds to around 69-74 million in clean weight. Last year, Russia's harvest stood at 67.2 million tonnes in clean weight.

The ministry has also given a very cautious forecast for 2004-05 exports. Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev said the exports will remain steady on the year at 5-6 million tonnes. Russia's grain exports amounted to 6.2 million tonnes in July-December, accounting mainly for wheat (3.5 million tonnes) and feed barley (2.5 million tonnes). In the second half of the 2003-04 season, Russian exports are expected at around 600,000 tonnes.

The decline in exports in the second half is due to the government's decision to impose an additional export duty of 25 euros per tonne for wheat and rye, which will stay in effect until May. As a result, Russia almost halted wheat and rye exports, focusing on feed barley supplies.

Independent analysts are more optimistic, saying that Russian exports could hit 10 million tonnes next season. In 2002-03, Russia exported around 17 million tonnes of grain.

The government continues grain intervention sales to stabilize domestic grain prices. Between February 18 and March 18, the sales totaled 681,600 tonnes. The government's intervention stocks amount to 1,558 million tonnes, and state intervention buying will be held in the autumn to prevent sharp price fluctuations.

Exports from Kazakhstan remain small due to unofficial restrictions. But an increase in demand from Russian consumers has caused a rise in prices for exports. Kazakh companies offer third-class milling wheat at US USD 200-210 per tonne delivery to Russian-Kazakh border, which is USD 5-10 per tonne higher than a week ago.

Russia's prices for the grade amount to USD 220 per tonne in Rostov-on-Don and Krasnodar, and around USD 263 per tonne in St.Petersburg, ex-warehouse.
MGR Archive 26.3.2004
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