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MOSCOW, October 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will export about one million tons of wheat and barley to South East Asia in the 2011-2012 agricultural year, head of Russia’s Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky said on Monday.
“We would like to export one million tons, an unprecedented figure, to South East Asia already this year,” he told journalists.
According to Zlochevsky, Russia exported its crops to South East Asia only in the test regime after the first grain conference in South East Asia in February 2010. Now, in his, words, Russia has begun wholesale exports, which are made in compliance with higher requirements than to traditional markets. “But so far we are meeting such requirements,” he noted.
In the past six months after the grain exports ban was lifted, Russia has exported to South East Asia about 480,000 tons of flour. “This is a record-breaking figure,” he added.
He also spoke about grain harvest forecasts for 2011. “The most optimistic forecast is 93 million tons, although it is obvious already now that 90 million tons are a guaranteed harvest,”he said, adding that 83 million tons have already been harvested. “This is bunker weight,” he noted.
According to Zlochevsky, final harvesting figures will be available by December. At the same time, he admitted that weather may influence the harvest. Thus, in his words, “there were too many rains” in the Volga region.
According to Zlochevsky’s forecasts, Russia’s wheat harvest is expected to be at 50-55 million tons, and barley harvest – at 16-17 million tons. “It will be enough to ensure exports although the quality of wheat has somewhat deteriorated as compared with the last year’s harvest,” he said.
Apart from that, rice harvest is expected to reach 1.2 million tons, maize harvest – six million tons, sunflower harvest – nine to ten million tons, and soy harvest – from 900,000 to one million tons.
He also spoke about plans fro winter crops. Thus, he said, “It was initially planned to sow winter crops on an overall area of 17.8 million hectares but time has been lost in some regions, so the plans reduced to 17 million hectares.”
“We will have to compensate what we have lost in terms of winter crops in the spring sowing campaign, virtually as we did last year,” he added.