“In terms of grain production, I think that we are to meet the challenge. I am sure that we have the potential to repeat the record and probably even increase it in the future,” he said in an interview with the Russia-24 news channel.
Russian farmers produced 139.5 million tons of grain as of December 5 against 124.6 million tons harvested last year, according to agriculture ministry data. Eighty-eight million tons of that was wheat.
Russia expects to export 45 million tons of grain in the sales year which started on July 1, according to Tkachev. His forecast includes 35 million tons of wheat.
“We are interested in eliminating the grain surplus so that it doesn't put pressure on domestic prices,” the minister said.
Earlier this year, Tkachev said the bumper crop projected for 2017 would increase exports of Russian grain and help the country become the global leader in the 2017-2018 agricultural year. Last year, which ended on June 30, Russia exported a record 35.5 million tons of grain, including 27.1 million tons of wheat, just short of the US which sold 28.1 million tons.