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MOSCOW, April 2 (Itar-Tass) —— Proceeding from preliminary information, Russia’s grain export slightly exceeded 1.6 million tonnes in March 2012, President of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky said on Monday.
While addressing a video conference Moscow-Astana-Kiev, which was devoted to the sowing season and harvesting operations of 2012, he said that preliminary data shows that the March grain export was a bit more than 1.6 million tonnes, and even closer to 1.7 million tonnes.
“In April-May 2012, the Grain Union forecasts the grain export from Russia at the same level,” Zlochevsky said.
In all, the Russian Grain Union hopes that the country’s grain export will reach 26 million tonnes by the end of the current agricultural year (before July 1, 2012).
“This is the record high index in terms of the export amounts over the whole history of the country,” he said, adding that this year’s indices can hit all previous record highs.
Herein, Zlochevsky is confident that the country managed to achieve such a result owing to the lifting of the grain export embargo (the interim ban on export of grain and legumes was imposed from August 15, 2010 through July 1, 2011).
“De facto, this step made it possible to add the potential of the preceding year [which remained unsold back then] to the current export reserves,” the Grain Union’s head said, adding, “With this in mind, we do not hope for the repeating of this year’s records.”
In his opinion, the next year’s grain export of Russia will be at about 22-25 million tonnes, which will depend on the upcoming gross grain harvest and weather conditions.
According to him, Russia starts this year’s agricultural season with the considerable amount of grain carryover stocks, which are expected to exceed 20 million tonnes.
Zlochevsky also hopes that Russia’s grain harvest will be at least the level of 2011 in the current agricultural year. “If there are no natural calamities, the country’s farmers can gather grain harvest at the level of last year – or no less than 94 million tonnes, or even 100 million tonnes if weather conditions are favourable,” he said.