SOCHI, February 27. /TASS/. Russia’s grain exports may be lower than initially planned 40 mln tonnes in this agricultural year (July 2016 - June 2017), Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev told TASS at the Russian Investment Forum in Sochi on Monday, adding that the country is most likely to export 37 mln tonnes.
"Unfortunately, a strong ruble hinders exports. The target of 40 mln tonnes announced at the beginning of the year may not be met. Today we’ll be satisfied with 37 mln tonnes, which is probably more realistic," he said.
According to Tkachev, the update of Russia’s export outlook is related to lower grain sales rates compared with last year. He added though that there is an emerging trend of growing global grain prices.
"Of course, we need a good grain price and it’s clear that we should not cut production," the Minister said.
The Agriculture Ministry has set a high grain export target for this agricultural year (July 2016 to June 2017) due to a record grain harvest in 2016 of 119.1 mln tonnes - more than 37.5 mln tonnes. Meanwhile, potentially export amounts to 40 mln tonnes, the Ministry said earlier.