Russia needs to find new markets for its grain exports and export to xisting customers more quickly, to ease pressure on the domestic market. There was a record crop of 119 million tonnes in 2016, the SovEcon agriculture consultancy said.
Customs data shows Russia’s December grain exports fell to 3.18 million tonnes from 4.05 million tonnes in November because of storms in ports and a strengthening rouble.
In January, Russia’s grain exports are expected to fall to 2.4 million tonnes. This will bring Russia’s grain exports to 23 million tonnes for the period between July and January, a slight increase on the same period a year ago.
To avoid domestic stockpiles, which will lead to low prices, Russia needs to keep exports at 2.8 million tonnes of grain per month between January and June 2017.
Russia has started exporting wheat to China but has shipped only 300 tonnes to the country so far. Exports of maize have also slowed in December as supplies to South Korea fell significantly. Iran, the largest importer of Russian maize so far this season, is expected to reduce purchases via shallow-water ports in winter months.