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25 Feb, 2020 09:48

Russia projected to retain crown as world’s top wheat exporter for third year in a row

Russia projected to retain crown as world’s top wheat exporter for third year in a row

The booming agriculture sector in Russia could help it remain the global leader in wheat exports this year, according to expert estimates examined by RIA Novosti.

Preliminary projections show that the grain harvest in 2020 will be the country’s second largest after 2017, a record year. Experts, however, note that the weather factor, including a snowless, warm winter, is increasingly becoming a “black swan” event for farmers.

A black swan event refers to a rare and unpredictable occurrence that has severe consequences for financial markets.

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In the 2017-2018 agricultural year, Russia exported a record 40.449 million tons of wheat to the global market; in 2018-2019 it delivered 35.2 million tons. This year's export crop may amount to 36 million tons, the Ministry of Agriculture says. Industry experts project deliveries in the range of 32-42 million tons.

“I think Russia will retain its leadership in wheat exports,” said Igor Pavensky, director of the strategic marketing department at Rusagrotrans. He explained that, “despite the decline in prices, the volume of deliveries from Russia at the moment is the largest.”

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Russian agricultural production has surged by 20 percent over the past six years. The country has managed to capture more than half of the global wheat market in recent years, becoming the world’s biggest exporter of grain, thanks to bumper harvests and attractive pricing. Since the early 2000s, this share of the global wheat market has quadrupled.

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