The volume of grain export from Russia amounted to 5.78 million tons in August, which was the maximum figure for this month, according to the materials of the analytical company «ProZerno». According to the operational data of the Federal Customs Service, 5.2 million tons of wheat and 0.5 million tons of barley were exported out of that amount. According to the company’s analysts, this result was largely obtained through supplies to Iran. From July, 1st to September, 7th, wheat export from Russia to Iran amounted to 1.64 million tons, while for the entire last season, only 1.38 million tons were exported. «Thus, Iran is overtaking Egypt and occupies the second place in the ranking of countries — importers of Russian wheat,» notes «ProZerno» company.
Mr. Eduard Zernin, Chairman of the Board of the Union of Grain Exporters, confirmed to Agroinvestor that a sharp turnaround in world prices and a slothful mechanism for calculating export duties opened a window of opportunities for grain exporters in August. «I think that in the first half of September, export will slow down a bit, but it won’t stop,» he said. «It will continue till the duty reaches the limit based on the contract price of $300 per tonne».
Mr. Zernin noted that Russia has lost its competitiveness at major international tenders, where competition is at its highest, but retained its position in the private sector, where relations are often long-term. «In addition, weather conditions are pushing some countries to increase purchases in Russia, which with 12 farming zones is an island of stability in the world grain market», he noted. «We see how Iran has seriously increased the volume of purchases and it is quit possibly that Iraq will join soon, the import needs of which are estimated at 2 million tons this season».
Mrs. Elena Tyurina, Director of the Analytics Department of the Russian Grain Union, told Agroinvestor that, according to estimates, grain export in fact amounted to about 5.7 million tons in August. However, the actual export after specifying the volumes may be even higher. «At the same time, more than 5 million tons of wheat were exported. This is due to the fact that Russia began to lose competitiveness in September, but in August it was at a very high level relative to Europe, — she explained. The cost of Russian wheat was on average 2-3% less than the prices in the EU countries. At the same time, we were losing in price competition to Ukraine. Our price was 5-6% higher than the offer in this country».
Since the forecasts of gross yield for the EU countries have been adjusted, and there is an understanding that the yield in Russia will be less than last year, and the export potential will decrease, now there is an active contracting of new yield grain by the main importing countries, says Mrs. Tyurina. She also noted that by the end of the calendar year, the grain export will be influenced by the demand. «At the beginning of the season, significant volumes are usually contracted because there are expectations that prices may be changed. In winter, the weather factor comes into play. So far, the situation for export is favorable. But now there is an information that China refuses to purchase barley, — said Mrs. Tyurina. — This is due to the facts that a high gross yield of corn is expected there as well as a decrease in demand for feed grain from livestock breeders. In general, the situation from the side of importers is quite changeable, but the countries already understand their balances and the volumes that they need to purchase».
According to the head of the analytical center «Rusagrotrans» Mr. Igor Pavenskyi, grain export from ports and railways amounted to about 5.6 million tons in August. This is slightly lower than in August 2020, when the export amounted to 5.74 million tons. That amount includes 5.1 million tons of wheat which were exported in August as well, taking into account the EAEU countries — about 5.3 million tons. «It is an unprecedented volume of wheat for one month. Close to an unprecedented yield in the southern regions, a sharp increase in demand from Iran, as well as Egypt (including non-governmental tenders), Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and other countries, as well as quality problems in a number of EU countries allowed to increase the volume of export from Russia, — the expert explained. — The main factor for export in the future will be the ratio of export and domestic prices against the background of growing duties. Domestic prices are already correlating downward in the south and, partially, in the Center, while export prices are gradually increasing». According to Mr. Pavenskyi, wheat export excluding the EAEU countries is expected to be at a high level in September — 4.3-4.5 million tons, which will be lower than in the last season, but higher than in the previous years.