Russia: Sanctions will not affect country’s grain exports

Russia competitive on wheat export market, production exceeding expectations

Russia Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov says Moscow’s bans on certain food imports from the United States and European Union will not affect Russia’s grain exports.

The crisis in Ukraine, including fears that grain shipments from the Black Sea region could be disrupted, helped send wheat prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) to a one-month high the week of August 4. Prices fell back by the end of the week, according to a Reuters report.

“I don’t think the sanctions have fundamentally changed anything. Russia is still competitive on the (wheat) export market and production looks likely to have exceeded expectations,” Macquarie analyst Christopher Gadd, said in the report.

Fyodorov said Russia’s grain exports are expected to reach 25 million tons in the 2014-15 marketing year, which started on July 1. Exports in the 2013-14 marketing year were 25.4 million tons, with most shipments going to the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

“These countries are friendly to us … That’s why everything is quite predictable for us on the grain market and grain exports,” Fyodorov said.

Egypt, Turkey, Yemen and Iran bought the most Russian wheat in 2013-14. Turkey and South Korea bought the most Russian corn, and Saudi Arabia bought more than half of Russia’s barley imports.

Russia imposed food import bans after the EU and U.S. tightened sanctions over Moscow’s support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.