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USDA GAIN: Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed


06 June 2013

USDA GAIN: Russian Federation Grain and Feed June 2013 UpdateUSDA GAIN: Russian Federation Grain and Feed June 2013 Update

FAS/Moscow forecasts a large increase in Russia’s grain production in 2013, with the total grain crop forecast raised to 91 MMT, compared to 71 MMT in 2012. Conditions for winter grains in the Southern, North Caucasian and Central Federal Districts of Russia are currently very favorable. Also corn planted area is at a record level and spring sowing is progressing smoothly in European Russia (although spring wheat sowing is delayed in Siberia and the Urals). With significantly larger production, Russia’s grain exports in 2013/14 are now forecast at 24 MMT, compared to 16 MMT in 2012/13.
USDA GAIN Report - Oilseeds, Cotton, Sugar, Grain and Feed

Production

FAS/Moscow forecasts a large increase in Russia’s grain production in 2013, with the total grain crop forecast raised to 91 MMT compared to 71 MMT in 2012. The forecast for wheat is at 53 MMT compared to 38 MMT in 2012, barley production is forecast at 17 MMT compared to 14 MMT in 2012, and corn production is forecast at a record 9 MMT, compared to 8.2 MMT in 2012. The forecast of production of other grains is 12 MMT up slightly from 2012. The total grain production forecast is up 5 MMT from FAS/Moscow’s previous forecast (early in April) due to a number of factors including:

  • The current good condition of winter grains in the Southern, North Caucasian and Central Federal Districts of Russia
  • The current positive soil moisture conditions for spring grains in most of the Volga Valley, Urals and Siberia
  • The very rapid planting progress for corn in European Russia. Corn sown area may reach a record 2.3 million hectares, 0.3 million hectares more than in 2012

Despite these positive factors, there are areas of concern which may constrain any further increases in production. These include:

  • Spring wheat planting is significantly delayed in the Urals and Siberia because of wet and cold conditions, and this may impact both area and yield
  • Corn area expansion has taken place in some provinces not typically sown with corn, and as a result although area is up, average yield could be lower than in past years as a result.

Winter Grains

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, as of the end of May 2013, the average condition of winter crops including grains, is better than the long-term norm. Winter kill was registered on 1 million hectares, or 6.3 percent of all winter crops area. There are no separate data on winter kill of grains, but industry analysts estimate that the percent of winter kill is the same as for all crops. The Ministry also reported that the speed of spring top-dressing of winter grain crops with fertilizer has been faster than last year. As of May 22, 2013 farmers applied fertilizer to 12.2 million hectares, or 76.8 percent of the total winter grain area (15.9 million hectares), which is 1.2 million hectares more than in 2012. Due to favorable weather, in the South of European Russia, winter grain development is faster than last year. Industry analysts report that in Krasnodar kray farmers may begin harvesting winter wheat in the middle of June, two weeks earlier than normal. Some farmers even have mentioned that they may sow soybeans or some other late spring crops on winter wheat harvested area. It is expected that the larger wheat crop in the Southern and North Caucasus federal districts will stimulate speedy exports from these traditionally export-oriented provinces.

Spring Grain Sowing Progress:

Soil moisture for spring grain sowing on average is better than last year over almost all of Russia’s spring grain territories, including The Urals and Siberia, which suffered from severe drought last year. As of May 27, 2013, farmers in the Southern and North Caucasus federal districts and in most parts of the Central Federal Districts have finished spring grain sowing. Farmers in the Volga Valley Federal District have sown spring crops on almost 90 percent of the planned area. However, wet and cold weather in Urals and Siberia has significantly slowed down spring grain sowing in these districts and this may impact production.

The progress of spring sowing by crops for the whole of Russia is given below. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, as of May 27, 2013, spring grains and pulses were sown on 23.1 million hectares, or 76.3 percent of the planned spring grain area, including:

  • Spring wheat was sown on 8.5 million hectares (3.2 million hectares less than on the same date last year), or 65.7 percent of the planned 12.9 million hectares. The speed of spring grain sowing is significantly lagging behind last year and this may impact total area and yield
  • Spring barley was sown on 7.0 million hectares (411,200 hectares less than on the same date 2012), or 87.1 percent of the planned area
  • Corn for grain was sown on 2.3 million hectares (474,600 hectares more than on the same date in 2012), and it has already surpassed the area planned by the Ministry of Agriculture

Charrt 1: Spring Sown Area as of May 27, 2013

Charrt 2: Spring Wheat Sowing Progress in 2013 Compared to 2012

Charrt 3: Spring Barley Sowing Progress in 2013 Compared to 2012

Charrt 4: Corn for Grain Sowing Progress in 2013 Compared to 2012

Consumption

A larger grain crop in 2013, and record corn crop, is expected to stimulate consumption of grain in feeding. Although up from last year, feeding levels of grain are expected to remain lower than in previous years as livestock production continues to shift to larger more integrated farms which have greater efficiency in feeding grain. Increased grain production in MY 2013/14 is forecast to boost domestic feed (including residual) consumption by 5 MMT from 29 MMT to 34 MMT. Domestic food and industrial grain consumption is expected to remain stable, as has been the case for the past several years (at 34-34 MMT).

Trade

FAS/Moscow forecasts Russia’s grain exports for MY 2013/14 at approximately 24 MMT, including 17 MMT of wheat and wheat flour (compared to 10.9 MMT last year), 3.5 MMT of barley (compared to 2.2 MMT last year), 2.5 MMT of corn (2.0 MMT last year), and about 1 MMT of other grains and pulses (slightly above last year). The winter wheat crop in Southern European Russia, the major grain exporting region, looks to be in very good condition and harvest may begin earlier than usual. This is expected to result in very strong early-season exports of wheat and barley. Although spring wheat plantings in the Urals and Siberia are significantly delayed and may impact wheat production, this is unlikely to have a significant impact on exports. These areas are typically not major suppliers of exported grain, and with preferential railroad tariffs from these regions discontinued (as a result of WTO accession), it makes it even more unlikely that large amounts of grain from Siberia or the Urals will be exported.

Russia’s grain exports dropped in January – March, 2013 and wheat exports are expected to remain low until the new crop hits the market. Beginning July 2012 through April 2013 Russia exported almost 15.1 MMT of grains and grain products in grain equivalent, such as wheat flour and malt, and pulses. The composition of these exports was the following: 10.48 MMT of wheat, 0.11 MMT of wheat flour in grain equivalent, 2.07 MMT of barley, including small amounts of malt in barley equivalent, 1.6 MMT of corn, 0.24 MMT of rice and 0.45 MMT of pulses and 0.13 MMT of rye. After the slowdown of exports in January – March, in April grain exports increased slightly. In March 2013 grain and pulses exports were 357,000 MT (including 90,000 of wheat, 82,000 MT of barley, 116 MT of corn, and 69,000 MT of other grains and pulses), and in April – 484,000 MT (including 195,000 MT of wheat, 15,000 MT of wheat flour in grain equivalent, 49,000 MT of barley, 182,000 MT of corn, and 57,000 MT of other grains and pulses. May exports may be close to that in April. Industry analysts report that in the first half of May, Russia exported 211,000 MT of grain and pulses, including 109,000 MT of wheat, 64,000 MT of corn, 37,000 MT of barley, and 1,000 MT of other grains.

FAS/Moscow forecasts grain imports in MY 2013/14 at 1.1 MMT, down from 1.6 MMT in 2012/13. This is primarily due to expected lower wheat imports from Kazakhstan. Official customs data on imports of wheat from July 1, 2012 through the end of April 2013 is 7,300 MT and imports of wheat flour are 19,500 MT in grain equivalent. However, these imports do not include imports from Kazakhstan, a member of the Customs Union with Russia and Belarus. The Ministry of Agriculture reported that beginning July 2012 through mid-May 2013, Russia imported 639,000 MT of wheat from Kazakhstan by train. Some additional imports are possible by trucks, but the data on these truck shipments are not available. Imports of barley in July 2012 through April 2013 were 225,100 MT.

Chart 5: Russia's Total Grain Exports in MYs 2009-2012

Source: State Customs Data

Chart 6: Russia's Wheat Exports in MYs 2009-2012

Source: State Customs Data

Stocks

According to Rosstat (Russian Federal Statistical Service), Russia’s total grain stocks as of May 1st , 2013 were 15.05 MMT, the lowest in the last 3 years, and included 7.28 MMT of grain at farms and 7.66 MMT of grain in procurement and processing enterprises. Wheat comprised 67 percent of grain stored at procurement and processing enterprises and these wheat stocks were also the lowest in the last 3 years (5.21 MMT compared to 8.79 on May 1st 2012 and 12.0 MMT on May 1st 2011). Grain stocks in the key exporting region of Russia (Southern and N. Caucasian federal districts) fell to 2.5 MMT in May 2013, compared to 4.0 MMT last year and 6.4 MMT in May 2011.

Chart 7: Grain Stocks in Russia, Total, Million Metric Tons

Source: Rosstat

Chart 8: Grain Stocks in the South European Russia, Million Metric Tons

Source: Rosstat

Chart 9: Russia: Wheat Stocks at Assembling and Processing Enterprises

Source: Rosstat

Policy

Industry analysts report that the Russian Government’s decision on intervention purchases for 2013/14 is a significant unknown for the market and could significantly impact prices and exportable supply. The Government of Russia has already announced intervention purchases prices, but no announcements have been made on volumes, or when or if purchases may begin.

The Government continues sales of intervention grain, but in May decreased volumes of sales per session. The average prices were steadily decreasing from February through mid-May, but slightly increased in the recent two weeks. From the beginning of intervention sales in October 2012, the Government sold to flour and feed millers 3.36 MMT of grain, including 2.18 MMT of milling quality wheat Class 3, almost 783,000 MT of milling quality wheat Class 4; 140,000 MT of feed-quality wheat Class 5; 89,000 MT of food quality rye; and 170,000 MT of feed quality barley. The total sum of earnings from these sales amounted to 27.8 billion rubles ($883 million).

The Russian government promised to increase federal outlays for crop producers at the time of spring sowing, and officials report that by the end of April 2013 crop producers received almost two times more money from the federal budget than in the same period a year ago. However, this increase is not due to larger budget funds for the year 2013, but a shifting of funds from the second half of 2013 to the first half. So far, the Government has not adopted the promised 42 billion rubles in additional funding to the Agricultural Budget of 2013.

Chart 10: Grain Sales Interventions, Milling Wheat, 2012-2013

Marketing

Grain prices reached the peak in February 2013, but then began decreasing, although still remain significantly higher than in the beginning of marketing year 2012/13.

Chart 11: Grain Prices in European Russia, EXW, Rubles per MT

Source: ProZerno

Chart 12: Garain Price in European Russia, EXW, USD per MT

Source: ProZerno

Regional prices of milling-quality wheat have begun decreasing in February, and by mid May reached the level equal to the end of September 2012. After the peak in March 2013, intervention prices also decreased.

Chart 13: Prices of Wheat Class 3, by Regions, Rubles

Chart 14: Prices of Wheat Class 4, by Regions, Rubles

June 2013

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