07:03 GMT +325 February 2018
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    Wheat harvest in Russia's Kaliningrad Region. Exports of food now outstrip weapons, according to Gazeta.ru

    World’s Top Breadbasket: Russia Becoming Leading Wheat Exporter Beating EU, US

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    With its wheat exports for this year and next projected at a record 30 million tons, Russia has edged past its main competitors, the EU and the US, to become the world’s top exporter of this staple crop, business magazine Expert wrote.

    Russia has consistently been ramping up its wheat exports to global markets as part of the government’s effort to revive the country’s agriculture with the state and leading companies pouring money into the sector amid the sanctions that have cut food imports.

    A weak ruble and poor crops in Germany and France have also been a factor in Russia’s record wheat exports, including to countries it has never sold grain before.

    Russia’s entry into new grain markets is bad news for the traditional exporters in North America, Europe and Australia with importers now able to buy for less.

    During the past two months Russia has already sold its wheat to Mexico, which previously relied entirely on imported US grain, and has also signed export deals with Algeria and Morocco – both of them traditional buyers of grain from France.

    The list of new buyers of Russian wheat includes Mali, Malta and Burma. According to information provided by Grain Quality Service state-owned company, Russia will export wheat also to Indonesia, until now the biggest buyer of Australian wheat, as well as traditional clients as Egypt, Bangladesh and Mozambique.

    Meanwhile, the US Department of Agriculture has once again raised its forecast of the harvest and of wheat exports in Russia in the current season.

    The forecast for the gross yield of Russian wheat increased to 72 million tons, which is 7 million tons more than the July forecast and 11 million tons above the level of last season.

    According to the USDA, Russian wheat exports are set to reach a record 30 million tons putting Russia in first place in supplying wheat to the world market, ahead of the European Union, which exports only 27 million tons of grain.

    The United States’ projected wheat export for the 2016/2017 season is 25.5 million tons.

    In July, Russia exported around 2.5 million tons of wheat, and the August figure is projected at between 3 million and 3.2 million tons.

    According to a BMI Research forecast, in the next five years Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan will emerge as the main suppliers of wheat to the Middle East and North Africa.

    Grain harvesting in Simferopol District, Crimea
    © Sputnik/ Artem Kreminsky
    Grain harvesting in Simferopol District, Crimea

    Related:

    Aim Higher! Russia Plans to Retain Title of World's Top Wheat Exporter
    Russia 'Beats' EU by Becoming Top Global Wheat Exporter
    Tags:
    European Union, wheat exports, traditional clients, new markets, Grain Quality Service, BMI Research, US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Russia
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