(Updates with crop details starting from the second paragraph.)
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s grain harvest may increase 53 percent from last year to reach 93 million metric tons after drying and cleaning if the weather is favorable, the country’s Grain Union said.
The wheat crop is seen at 55 million tons, with about 60 percent of milling quality, and the feed barley harvest is expected to be 16 million to 17 million tons this year, Arkady Zlochevsky, union’s president, said at a news conference in Moscow today.
This year’s harvest is expected to be a record for crops such as sunflower seeds with 9 million to 10 million tons, corn with 6 million tons, rice with more than 1.2 million tons and soybeans with more than 900,000 tons, Zlochevsky said.
Last year the grain crop fell by 37 percent due to drought. It came to 60.9 million tons, including 41.46 million tons of wheat, 8.32 million tons of barley, 5.34 million tons of sunflower seeds, 3.0 million tons of corn, and 1.06 million tons of rice, according to Rosstat, the Federal State Statistics Service.
About 70 million tons of grain will be used domestically and about 25 million tons will be exported, Zlochevsky said, adding another 5 million tons is available, but that shipments would be limited due to transportation costs and infrastructure capacity.
Kazakhstan plans to export between 7 million and 8 million tons of grain through Black Sea ports, which compete with Russia, Zlochevsky said. Those shipments along with Ukraine’s export potential of 24 million tons this marketing season may increase competition and reduce Russia’s wheat price to $220 a ton on a free-on-board basis in December, he said.
In the latest tender in Egypt last week, the country sold wheat at about $250 a ton, Zlochevsky said.
Russia’s wheat is no longer traded at a discount to the world price, which was about $40 a ton after the country opened exports on July 1, Zlochevsky said. The cheap rate let the country initiate active wheat and barley shipments to Southeast Asia. Russia may export up to 1 million tons in the region in the current marketing year, according to the union estimate.
Russia’s farmers have started winter sowing, and about 17 million hectares (42 million acres) of grains will be planted in 2011, Zlochevsky said.
--Editors: Sharon Lindores, Dan Weeks
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