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10 Jul, 2020 14:41

World’s top grain exporter Russia keeps global supplies high despite Covid-19 pandemic

World’s top grain exporter Russia keeps global supplies high despite Covid-19 pandemic

Exports of Russian grain are expected to total 41.7 million tons in the current agricultural season, according to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service. Supplies of wheat to the global market may reach 33.2 million tons.

That’s in line with pre-pandemic projections from industry experts, who said in February deliveries could be in the range of 32-to-42 million tons.

In the previous, 2018-2019 agricultural season, Russia exported 35.2 million tons of wheat to the global market, after delivering a record 40.449 million tons in the previous season. 

The head of the Ministry of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev says this year’s figures could be even higher while the they do not include the results of mutual trade with the EAEU countries in May and June. “According to our estimates, grain exports in the past season will be at least 43 million tons,” he said.

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The ministry expects the country’s grain harvest to reach 122.5 million tons this year, including up to 75 million tons of wheat. Last year’s grain production stood at 120.6 million tons.

In April, Russia capped grain shipments until July to avoid domestic price spikes amid global coronavirus crisis. Moscow introduced export limits for certain grains, including wheat, rye, barley, and corn, saying that the supplies should not exceed seven million tons. 

READ MORE: Covid-19 crisis could trigger global food shortage, UN warns

Russian agricultural production has surged more than 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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