Russia keeping its grain export forecast for this season at between 10 million tonnes and 14 million tonnes, agriculture minister says; total production estimated at between 72 million tonnes and 73 million tonnes

NEW YORK , September 19, 2012 () – Russia, the world’s third-biggest wheat exporter last year, is keeping its grain export forecast for this season at 10 million to 14 million metric tons, Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fedorov said.

Total production is estimated at 72 million to 73 million tons, Fedorov told Parliament today. That’s narrowed down from a 70 million to 75 million ton forecast made on Sept. 6.

“Taking into account nearly 20 million tons of carryover stocks, these crop volumes will let us secure domestic consumption and form the export potential,” Fedorov said.

Farmers have harvested 63 million tons of grain from 76 percent of the planted area, he said. That compares with 77 million tons a year earlier.

Winter grain sowing is targeted on 16.8 million hectares (41.5 million acres) for the 2013-14 crop, Fedorov said. Farmers have planted 7.3 million hectares so far, or about 300,000 hectares more than at the same time last year, he said.

Russia harvested 94.2 million tons of grains, and shipped a record 27.2 million tons last year, according to Agriculture Ministry data.

Russia’s wheat exports are expected to fall to 8 million tons this season from 21.6 million tons in 2011-12, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That would make the country the fifth largest shipper after the U.S., Australia, Canada and the European Union in 2012-13, according to the USDA estimates.

Wheat for December delivery rose 2.1 percent to $8.8175 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade by 11:37 a.m. London time. It’s advanced 35 percent this year.

--Editors: Sharon Lindores, Dan Weeks

To contact the reporter on this story: Marina Sysoyeva in Moscow at msysoyeva@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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