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Russian Federation Annual Grain Report 2004
USDA, April 8, 2004
Post forecasts total grain production at 73.2 mmt, a six mmt increase from last year, given normal weather conditions and assuming that attractive prices will improve input supply and farm management. The area sown to all grains is forecast to increase by 2.0 – 2.5 million hectares from a record low of 42 million hectares in 2002. This increase in area is expected in spring grain fields, while the area sown to winter grains is lower than last year. Winter grains are sown on 13.6 million hectares, 1.3 million hectares less than last year due to rains in the fall and a delayed and hectic harvest late into the fall that switched farmers and their resources from sowing. However, the winter crop survival is 1.8 million hectares better than last year, so the final area for winter grains will be close to last year’s level, and given the better status of the winter grain crop as of mid-March 2004, yields will be higher. According to weather data, this summer may be dry in the European part of Russia meaning yields of spring grain may be lower.

The federal Ministry of Agriculture (MinAg) is trying to increase the total harvested area to 45 million hectares (3 million hectares up from the last year). In order to do this, MinAg initiated the “Resolution of the Government on Support of Spring Sowing Works”. However, high grain prices will be the main stimuli to increase grain area. High wheat prices will stimulate farmers to increase spring wheat sown area first of all, and Post forecasts that production of less important grains like millet, buckwheat, and legumes will decrease from 3.1 mmt in MY 2003 to 2.4 mmt in MY 2004.

Post forecasts total grain consumption will decrease by 1.56 mmt to 69.44 mmt including a decrease in feed consumption from 33.05 mmt to 31.46 mmt due to decreasing domestic poultry operations. A slight increase in food domestic consumption to 22.85 mmt (80,000 tons up from the lowest level of 22.7 mmt in 2003) will not offset the decrease in feed consumption. These fluctuations in food consumption do not create shortages, but are reflected in prices.

Grain exports will decrease to 6.1 mmt, one million tons lower than in 2003, and less than forty percent of the historic high exports in MY 2002 due to low stocks and changes in foreign markets. Demand for Russian grain in Europe, one of the largest markets for Russian exports during the last two years, will decrease due to a better EU crop and the upcoming expansion of the Union. According to some Russian analysts, the average annual export of Russian grain to the Baltic States over the last several years has been roughly 600,000 metric tons and about 300,000-400,000 metric has been exported to the other seven countries that will join the E.U. on May 1, 2004. The EU has not increased grain import quotas for Russia in spite of the increased membership and Russia will be able to export to all EU member countries only about 200,000-250,000 metric tons within this quota, 800,000 less that last year.

Rapidly growing freight rates will also be disadvantageous for Russian grain exports. Competition with domestic grain consumption will not be high because demand for food grain is stable, while domestic wheat-feed consumption is forecast to decrease reflecting the decreasing tendencies in the domestic livestock and poultry production. At the same time grain trading companies have already invested in expansion and construction of port facilities and in foreign trade operations, and so will engage in some exports irrespective of domestic grain production and stocks. Overall port structure and capacity will be adequate for all exports. For more information on ports and other transportation infrastructure, see GAIN reports RS3009 and RS 3012.

Imports are forecast at 2.4 mmt, including 1.0 mmt of wheat, 400,000 metric tons of barley and 600,000 metric tons of corn, conditioned on the continuation GMO corn registration. Larger imports from the U.S. are expected.

In order to stimulate imports of feed grain and to curb exports of food quality grains, temporary changes were made to grain export and corn import duties. Starting January 27, 2004 corn grain (HS number 1005 90 000 0, other) were imported duty free for the next nine months, according to the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation #771 of December 23, 2003. Another resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation #749 of December 11, 2003 introduces temporary (from January 16, 2004 through May 1, 2004) tariffs of 0.025 Euro per kg on wheat (HS number 1001) and rye (HS number 1002) exported from the territory of the Russian Federation to countries outside of the Customs Union.
MGR Archive 10.4.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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