MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russia’s grain harvest has already exceeded 120 mln tonnes above last year’s level, according to the latest figures, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.
"The latest figures say that the harvest of grain and legumes has reached 122.5 mln tonnes, which already exceeds last year’s result," and may go even higher, he said.
According to Medvedev, "this year a total of 242 bln rubles ($4.1 bln) were earmarked for implementation of state programs aimed at agriculture development and regulation of agriculture markets."
Global wheat export leadership
Russia plans to regain global leadership in terms of wheat export in 2017-2018 agriculture year, Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev said Thursday.
"We expect Russia to regain its global leadership in terms of wheat export during this agriculture year," he said.
"As of today, grain exports have exceeded last year’s result by a third, more than 10 mln tonnes of grain have been exported, including almost 8 mln tonnes of wheat. The plan is to export almost 45 mln tonnes (of grain), including 30 mln tonnes of wheat if the global market situation remains favorable," he said.
"This year the cultivated area in Russia has exceeded the 80 mln hectares target for the first time in five years. As of today, 85% of the area under crops have already been reaped, almost 122 mln tonnes of grain have been threshed, and we can confidently say that an all-time record harvest is going to be gathered, including the Soviet era. A similar (record) harvest - 127 mln tonnes - was gathered in Russia in 1978, though I have no doubts that we will beat this record this year," he said. "The figure can even reach $20 bln in financial terms. It was $17 bln last year," the minister said.
Russia exported record 35.5 mln tonnes of grain in 2016-2017 agricultural year ended on June 30, including 27.1 mln tonnes of wheat.
The US Department of Agriculture released the results of last season, saying that the country’s wheat exports amounted to 28.1 mln tonnes. Thus, Russia ceded global leadership in terms of wheat export to the United States, but remained among the top three wheat exporters.
In 2015-2016 agricultural year, Russia exported 24.6 mln tonnes of wheat, which made it the world’s biggest wheat exporter in the period.
Russia’s sugar exports may double during this season compared with last year, he went on.
"The record beet crop will allow to produce 6.5 mln tonnes of sugar and retain the global leadership position in this segment. Russia was the world’s biggest beet sugar producer during the 2016-2017 season, surpassing France, the United States and Germany. As of today, we have increased sugar exports dozens-fold. Last year it was 340,000 tonnes, while this year the sector’s export potential is twice as high - around 700,000 tonnes," he said.
Tkachev said earlier that Russia had become the world’s biggest producer of beet sugar outpacing France, the United States and Germany. According to the Ministry’s data, the country's sugar production totals 6 mln tonnes, compared with 5 mln tonnes produced by France, 4.8 mln tonnes - by the United States and 4.5 mln tonnes - by Germany.