Russia may export at least 55 million tonnes of grain in the 2023/24 marketing season, slightly less than the estimated record-breaking 57 million tonnes in the just finished 2022/23 season, Arkady Zlochevsky, head of Russia’s Grain Union, said on Monday.
He estimated the 2023 harvest at no less than 130 million tonnes, compared to 157.7 million tonnes in 2022, highlighting at a press conference improved weather conditions for the new crop in several regions of the country, especially in Siberia.
Zlochevsky also pointed at bulky grain inventories as a precursor to high exports.
“We expect to export no less than 55 million tonnes next season,” he said.
Data from Russian state statistics service Rosstat show grain stocks as of May 2023 were 61.5% higher than last year’s level, while that of wheat is 69.4% higher.
Russia’s agriculture ministry in May forecast grain exports between 50 million tonnes and 55 million tonnes for the 2023/24 season.
Exports for the 2022/23 season that ended last week were a record high, Zlochevsky said.
The previous record-high for Russian grain exports was in the 2017/18 season, when they reached 54.8 million tonnes.
“By all means, the record is beaten, a new record has already taken place,” he said.
The largest importers of Russian grain in the just-ended marketing season were Egypt with 11.92 million tonnes and Turkey with 10.25 million tonnes and Algeria was for the first time in the top three with 3.26 million tonnes of grain.