Russia exports 8.7 million tonnes of wheat and meslin in first nine months of 2013, according to government data; wheat exports down 32% year-over-year

MOSCOW , November 11, 2013 () – Russia exported 8.7 million tonnes of wheat and meslin (a wheat and rye mix) in January-September 2013, the Federal Customs Service said Monday.

Wheat exports were down 32% year-on-year from 12.73 million tonnes.

In value terms, exports dropped to $2.16 billion from $3.46 billion.

The majority of exports went to countries outside the CIS, to which Russia exported 8.12 million tonnes for $2.02 billion. It exported 578,100 tonnes for $148.1 million to the CIS.

The Federal Customs Service said Russia increased its imports of wheat and meslin to619,600 tonnes in the nine months, compared to 155,200 in the same period of 2012. In value terms, imports rose to $169.3 million from $34 million.

Russia also imported 242,500 tonnes of barley for $82.8 million, compared to 473,200 tonnes (for $173.8 million) the previous year. Imports of corn increased to 44,600 from 33,800 (to $121.2 million from $81.2 million).

Grain market experts attribute the drop in grain exports and rise in imports to a low harvest last year when 70.9 million tonnes of grain was harvested, compared to 94.2 million tonnes in 2011. The Agriculture Ministry predicts a grain harvest of 90 million tonnes. Exports in the agricultural year ending June 30 2014 is forecast at 18 million to 20 million tonnes, compared to 15.7 million in the previous agricultural year.

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