Russian wheat export duty "won’t increase": minister


Russian wheat sellers will continue to find government support as export duties are set to remain at zero, the deputy prime minister told local press Tuesday.

Export duties were suspended in September 2016 in a bid to boost oversees sales, a move which has since contributed in part to Russia becoming the world’s largest wheat exporter.

"There are undetermined proposals, and we are thinking about them for the time being. But it certainly won’t increase," Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was reported saying by Russian wire agency Interfax Tuesday when asked about the export duty.

Russia’s zero-rate exports are set to expire at the start of the 2018/19 marketing year on July first.

Currently marketing its biggest-ever crop, the ministry of agriculture said Wednesday that grain exports for the 2017/18 marketing year now stand at 40 million mt – including 31.2 million mt of wheat.

Looking ahead

While planted area is set to remain largely unchanged year-on-year for Russia’s coming wheat crop, most forecasts currently see yields falling back below last year’s exceptional figure and reverting to the mean.

The International Grains Council forecasts 2018/19 production at 74.5 million mt – down from 84.9 million mt in 2017/18.

Exports are forecast to increase to 37.1 million mt from 36.3 million mt.

The decision to keep Russian wheat heading for export flies in the face of rumours in the Russian press of potential grain shortages in the coming years, with Deputy Prime Minister Dvorkovich going on record to say he foresees no such risk.

Dvorkovich was responding to an article published last week which warned of rail bottlenecks biting from the 2019/20 marketing year as grain hoppers are being decommissioned "almost twice" as fast as they are being built.

"We have several times more capacity than annual demand," he was quoted saying to news agency Prime.


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