MOSCOW, September 13 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov has ordered the Agriculture Ministry and the Transport Ministry to form a working group to tackle the problem of export grain terminals in southern Russia and railroad lines to them.
The government hopes to export a record amount of 20 million tonnes of grain this year, while serious impediments created by the transport infrastructure may thwart the achievement of that target.
“I order the Agriculture Ministry, the Transport Ministry, Russian Railroads, regional authorities and the Novorossiysk seaport administration to monitor daily the grain shipments,” Zubkov said.
If the problem is resolved, the exports may reach 3.5 million tonnes in September and remain at that amount for the next four or five months, he said.
The Novorossiysk seaport is capable of handling 415 train cars carrying grain per day, while no less than 600-650 train cars need to be serviced daily, head of the Russian Railroads traffic management department Pavel Ivanov said. With this in mind, many exporters are considering Far Eastern seaports, but “they do not have a single specialized grain terminal but focus on ferrous metal.” Ivanov suggested exporting some of the grain by western land routes.
Zubkov also raised the question of possible grain exports across Ukraine.