Highlights

FAS/Moscow increased its forecast of Russia’s total grain crop in Marketing Year (MY) 2015/16 by 3 million metric tons (MMT) to 118.0 MMT. The forecasted crop includes 72.5 MMT of wheat, 17.5 MMT of barley, 14.5 MMT of corn (1.0 MMT lower than the official USDA forecast), and almost 13.5 MMT of other grains and pulses. The forecast is based on the Russian State Statistical Service’s (Rosstat) preliminary crop production data. FAS/Moscow forecasts grain exports at 39 MMT, including 29.0 MMT of wheat (including wheat flour in grain equivalent), 3.5 MMT of barley, 5.3 MMT of corn and approximately 1.2 MMT of other grains, pulses and grain products. FAS/Moscow’s forecast of exports of wheat and corn match the official USDA forecast, while FAS/Moscow’s barley exports forecast is 0.5 MMT lower than the official USDA forecast. Despite decreasing world market prices of wheat, and appreciation of the Ruble, Russian exports are supported by a good crop.

General Information

Production 2016

Based on preliminary crop data reported by Rosstat, FAS/Moscow updated its production forecast for major crops and increased its forecast of Russia’s total grain and pulses crop in MY 2016/17 by 3 million metric tons (MMT) to 117.8 MMT.1 For wheat, FAS/Moscow forecast is 72.5 MMT. For barley FAS/Moscow’s forecast is 17.5 MMT. For rye, FAS/Moscow increased the forecast to 2.5 MTT. For oats, FAS/Moscow’s forecast is 4.75 MMT. For millet, FAS/Moscow’s forecast is 0.6 MMT. For corn, FAS/Moscow forecast crop production lower than the official USDA forecast, but higher than preliminary Rosstat data. FAS/Moscow forecasts that the final corn crop (in clean weight) will be 14.5 MMT, which is 0.7 MMT higher than the preliminary Rosstat data, but 1.0 MMT lower than the official USDA forecast. FAS/Moscow’s forecast is based on the understanding that as of the end of December 2016, farmers had not yet finished harvesting corn in some southern regions. Thus, according to data reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, as of December 23, 2016, farmers harvested 15.4 MMT of corn in bunker weigh from 90% of area planned for harvest. Industry analysts also consider that the final official data on corn production will be updated upward. As for rice, by December 23, 2016, Russian farmers harvested 1.3 MMT of rice (rough rice in bunker weight), that is 8% more than on the same date last year, from area that was 3% more than on the same date last year, and average yield was 3% higher than last year. Thus, FAS/Moscow forecasts production of milled rice at 725,000 MT (2,000 MT more than in 2015), which is equivalent to 1.12 MMT of rough rice. This forecast is almost 40,000 MT higher (rough rice equivalent) than the official USDA forecast and the preliminary Rosstat data. Russia’s final official data on grain and pulse production in 2016, with separate winter and spring grain data, will be available in late February 2017, at the earliest.

According to Rosstat, the bunker weight of Russia’s crop at the end of harvest was 124.0 MMT, while clean weight was 117.8 MMT.2 Thus, the 2016 losses during cleaning and drying were 6.2 MMT, or 5.0%. Losses during cleaning and drying varied from province to province. Recorded losses for the “grain producing provinces” (provinces that produced more than 0.5 MMT each in bunker weight in 2016) varied from 1.7% in Rostov Oblast (Southern FD) to 12.6% in Kemerovo Oblast (Siberian FD). In 2015, Russian overall cleaning and drying losses were 5.4%, with variation from 1.8% in Rostov Oblast to 15.3% in Kirov Oblast (Volga Valley FD). In 2016, in Russia’s main winter grain producing provinces such as Krasnodar Kray (Southern FD) and Stavropol Kray (North Caucasus FD) and Rostov Oblast, the share of losses was 2.4%, 2.0% and 1.7%, respectively. Losses in 2015 were 2.0%, 1.9% and 1.8%, respectively. The decrease in Russia’s average losses in the 2016 crop, compared to the 2015 crop, was primarily due to lower grain losses in the Volga Valley Federal District. Thus, the share of losses in the Volga Valley Federal District, which accounts for approximately 20% of Russian’s total grain crop production, decreased from 7.6% in 2015 to 5.8% in 2016.

Winter Crop Sowing

According to Ministry of Agriculture reports, as of December 23, 2016, the area sown to the 2017 winter crops was 16.94 million hectares. This 2017 winter crops area is 0.1% more than the Ministry of Agriculture’s preliminary forecast (referred to as the “plan”), and 6.3% more than what was sown for winter crops in 2015.3 The Ministry of Agriculture data published in December do not separate winter area by crops, but most of this area is sown to winter grain, primarily winter wheat. On average, winter grain area comprises approximately 95% of the total winter crop area. Area sown to winter crops for the 2017 crop increased by 9.4% in the Southern Federal District (FD), by 8.8% in the Volga Valley FD, and by 2.2% in the Central FD. These three Federal Districts account for 83% area sown to Russian winter crops.

The increase in winter sowing was primarily due to strong grain prices in MY 2015/16, which supported grain producers’ incomes, and favorable weather and soil conditions for winter sowing in the fall 2016. There are no official data on the financial status of Russian crop producers, but according to industry analysts, higher prices for grain, oilseeds and other crops in MY 2015/16 and summer 2016, and relatively good returns, allowed farmers to adequately finance winter crop sowing in fall 2016. Moreover, in CY 2016, Russian farmers received more loans than in 2015. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, as of December 22, 2016, the total sum of credits given to agricultural producers for financing of “seasonal field works” (spring sowing, cultivation, harvesting of 2016 crop, and the fall 2016 sowing of winter crops) reached 330.2 billion Rubles, 31.8% more than in CY 2015 (262.7 billion Rubles).4 The credits include 247.85 billion Rubles given by Rosselkhozbank (39.1% higher than in CY2015) and 82.35 billion Rubles from the Savings Bank (72.8 billion Rubles in CY 2015). According to the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2016 (from January 1st through December 25th) farmers bought 2.78 MMT of mineral fertilizer (in active ingredient), that is 278.4 thousand metric tons (TMT) (11%) more than in 2015. Accumulated stocks of mineral fertilizer (including leftover from 2015) are 3 MMT (in active ingredient), 332.9 TMT more than on the same date last year. According to provincial authorities, the 2016 mineral fertilizer “need” for seasonal field works is approximately 2.6 MMT (active ingredient). The average price in 2016 for mineral fertilizer was also lower than in 2015.6

It is still too early to estimate winter grain survival or forecast the 2017 winter crop. However, industry analysts report that as of the end of November 2016, the status of winter crops in most parts of Russia was better than during the same period in 2015. Although it is too early to do any forecasts, the increased winter crop area, better than last year inputs in winter sowing, and better winter crop conditions at the end of fall 2016, indicate that a good winter grain crop is likely in 2017.

Twelve Russian provinces account for 73% of the winter crop sown area: Over 2.0 million hectares (Dark Red)

- Rostov Oblast – 2.39 million hectares (2.26 million hectares in 2015) From 1.0 to 2.0 million hectares (Red)

- Stavropol Kray – 1.95 million hectares (1.91 million hectare in 2015)

- Krasnodar Kray – 1.57 million hectares (1.58 million hectares in 2015)

- Volgograd Oblast – 1.41 million hectares (1.05 million hectares in 2015)

- Saratov Oblast – 1.20 million hectares (0.94 million hectares in 2015) From 0.4 to 1.0 million hectares (Pink)

- Voronezh Oblast – 0.71 million hectares (0.63 million hectares in 2015)

- Orenburg Oblast – 0.70 million hectares (0.53 million hectares in 2015)

- Tatarstan Republic – 0.59 million hectares (0.60 million hectares in 2015)

- Kursk Oblast – 0.51 million hectares (0.55 million hectares in 2015)

- Tambov Oblast – 0.49 million hectares (0.43 million hectares in 2015)

- Orel Oblast – 0.44 million hectares (0.46 million hectares in 2015)

- Samara Oblast – 0.43 million hectares (0.42 million hectares in 2015)

Stocks

Despite the record grain crop, Russian grain exports from July through November 2016 were not more than exports during the same period in 2015. By December 1, 2016, Russia’s total grain stocks at agricultural7 and assembling and processing enterprises were 44.74 MMT, the record highest December 1st stocks in the observed 7-year period. Almost 28.12 MMT of these stocks were kept at agricultural enterprises. The rest 16.62 MMT of stocks were at assembling and processing enterprises (elevators, warehouses, storage facilities of grain processing enterprises). Compared stocks in 2016 with stocks on December 1, 2015, stocks at agricultural enterprises increased by almost 11%, and stocks at assembling and processing enterprises increased by 12%. In Southern European Russia (Southern and North Caucasus Federal Districts), Russia’s major grain exporting

Federal Districts, grain stocks also peaked

Trade

FAS/Moscow increased the forecast of Russia’s total MY 2016/2017 grain exports from 38.0 MMT to 39.0 MMT, largely due to an increased forecast of corn exports from 4.0 MMT to 5.3 MMT. At the same time, the forecast for barley exports is lowered from 4.0 MMT to 3.5 MMT. FAS/Moscow’s forecast for wheat exports has not changed from the previous report – 29.0 MMT. The forecast for exports of other grains and pulses has also remained the same as in the previous report. In MY 2015/16, Russia exported almost 35 MMT of grain, including flour and pulses. According to Russian Customs data, from July through December 2016, Russia exported 20.8 MMT of grain (including flour in grain equivalent and pulses). This is 3.0% less than in the same period last year. These exports include 15.7 MMT of wheat (1.2% more than last year), 1.84 MMT of barley (43% less than last year), and 2.4 MMT of corn (34% more than last year). The USDA official marketing year for corn is October through September. However, in Russia in 2016 traders started exporting corn in September, and from September through December Russia exported 1.8 MMT of corn f 2016 crop, 59 % more than in the same months in 2015.

In December 2016, Russian grain exports (including flour in grain equivalent and pulses) decreased y-o-y, and were 3.2 MMT. This is almost 22% less than in November 2016 and 20% lower than in December 2015. These exports include approximately 2.4 MMT of wheat (15% less y-o-y), 0.14 MMT of barley (74% less y-o-y), 0.53 MMT of corn (16% more y-o-y), and 0.13 MMT of other grains and pulses. Grain traders attribute this decrease to several factors:

- Unfavorable (stormy) weather in the Black Sea ports - according to traders, exports of grain from Novorossiysk, Russia’s main Black Sea, deep-water port was only 1.13 MMT, 10.6% less than in December 2015, and 0.7% less than in December 2014;

- Freezing of some Don-River ports;

- Declining prices of wheat in world markets; and

- Strengthening of Russian Ruble to U.S. dollar.

Industry analysts consider that the last two factors may have the greatest impact in curbing Russia’s exports in February and spring 2017, after the typical Russia weather and climate restrictions on grain exports will expire. In the first half of MY 2016/17, Russia’s main markets for wheat exports remained Egypt, Turkey, and Bangladesh. Russia’s main markets for barley were Saudi Arabia and Iran. Russia’s main market for corn was Iran.

In MY 2016/17, Russian traders, supported by efforts of the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (VPSS) and the Ministry of Agriculture that assist in negotiating phytosanitary an quality grain requirements with importing countries, tried to develop new markets for Russian grain. VPSS, which issues phytosanitary certificates for exported grain, reports that in MY 2016/17 Russia will increase grain exports to relatively new markets in Asian-Pacific countries.10 According to VPSS, from July to December 2016, Russian shipments to the Asian-Pacific region were as follows:

- Indonesia – 252,300 MT of wheat (in 2015/16 – 233,500 MT);

- Vietnam – 66,000 MT of wheat and 118,300 MT of corn (no exports in 2015/16)

- Thailand – 63,700 MT of wheat (no exports in 2015/16)

- Malaysia – 68,300 MT of wheat (44,000 MT of wheat in 2015/16)

- Philippines – 16,500 MT of wheat (no exports in 2015/16)

VPSS is proud to report these shipments as their achievements in negotiation of phytosanitary and quality certificates for grain exports to these countries.

The Russian Ministry of Agriculture and VPSS also increased efforts to develop the Japanese market for Russian grain,11 and from July to December 2016 Russia exported 227,200 MT of corn, 5,600 MT of wheat, and 12,600 MT of barley to Japan. In MY 2015/16, Russia exported only 13,000 MT of corn to Japan.

From July to December 2016, Russia also opened new markets for its grain in Africa, and exported approximately 75,200 MT of wheat to Mali, Namibia, Burkina-Faso, Cabo-Verde, and Mauricio. At the same time, Russia increased exports of wheat to African markets opened in MY 2015/16: Cameroon, Senegal, Mauritania, and Uganda. Total wheat exports to these countries from July to December 2016 were, according to VPSS, 443,300 MT. These exports are 2.5 times more than al of MY 2015/16.12

Policy

Zero export duty on wheat

On September 26, 2016, the Russian Government decreased the wheat export duty to zero through Government Resolution No. 966 “On introduction of changes to the export customs tariffs for commodities exported from the Russian Federation outside the boundaries of the member-states of the Custom Union Agreement.” According to this resolution, the basic export duty, which is “50% minus 6,500 Rubles per 1 Metric Ton, but not less than 10 Rubles per 1 Metric Ton” is not changed. However during the period September 23, 2016 to July 1, 2018, the export duty on wheat exported from Russia will be zero.13 Russian Minister of Agriculture, Tkachev, noted that in situations where the U.S. Dollar is strong and Russian wheat crop is poor, the wheat export duty may be resumed.14 However, the decrease of the wheat export duty to zero did not stimulate wheat exports. The primary factors in the fall and early winter 2016/17 that influenced exports were: the strengthening of the Russian Ruble coupled with weak wheat prices in world markets.

Grain procurement intervention

Starting September 21, 2016, Russia began purchasing grain to the State Intervention Fund.15 The purchases to the State Intervention Fund ended on December 14th, and by this time the Russian Intervention Fund purchased 0.9 MMT of grain from the 2016 crop, for 8.6 billion Rubles. These purchases included 138,645 MT of wheat Class 3, 571,840 MT of wheat Class 4, 138,915 MT of wheat Class 5, and 50,895 MT of fodder barley. In MY 2016/17, intervention purchases were conducted primarily in Siberia, Ural, and Volga Valley from producers located far from major export points in the Black Sea and Azov-Don: Omsk Oblast (Siberia), Kurgan Oblast (Ural), Orenburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Saratov, Samara, Ulyanovsk Oblasts and, Bashkortostan Republic (Volga Valley), and Volgograd Oblast (Southern European Russia), provinces relatively far from Russia’s export points. When interventions were conducted, the intervention prices in these provinces were higher than the market prices. However, limited government funds and limited storage capacity for storing intervention grain in these remote provinces could not guarantee purchases of all offered grain, and could not stabilize market prices in these provinces.

Marketing

There is no aggregate information on the quality of Russian wheat in 2016. Industry analysts report that despite the abundant wheat crop in European Russia, volumes of good quality wheat that meet the criteria of Class 3 and 4, and have high protein content, are approximately equal to last year. The demand for good quality wheat remains high, and is stimulated both by traders for exports and by domestic processors. Thus, despite the big crop, big stocks of grain, especially wheat, and strengtehning Ruble, that curbes exports, domestic prices for wheat Class 3 remain relatively high in the end of December 2016, while prices of wheat Class 4 and Wheat Class 5 (feed wheat) are low. Prices in the U.S. Dollars are growing for all types of wheat.

Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics

Wheat

Market Begin Year

Russia

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Jul 2014

Jul 2015

Jul 2016

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

23636

23636

25577

25577

27050

27050

Beginning Stocks

5177

5177

6285

6285

5601

5601

Production

59080

59080

61044

61044

72500

72500

MY Imports

328

328

815

815

500

500

TY Imports

328

328

815

815

500

500

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

64585

64585

68144

68144

78601

78601

MY Exports

22800

22800

25543

25543

29000

29000

TY Exports

22800

22800

25543

25543

29000

29000

Feed and Residual

13000

13000

14000

14000

16000

16000

FSI Consumption

22500

22500

23000

23000

23000

23000

Total Consumption

35500

35500

37000

37000

39000

39000

Ending Stocks

6285

6285

5601

5601

10601

10601

Total Distribution

64585

64585

68144

68144

78601

78601

Barley

Market Begin Year

Russia

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Jul 2014

Jul 2015

Jul 2016

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

8803

8803

8042

8042

7950

7940

Beginning Stocks

904

904

1533

1533

836

836

Production

20026

20026

17083

17083

17500

17540

MY Imports

39

39

61

61

50

50

TY Imports

16

16

99

99

50

50

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

20969

20969

18677

18677

18386

18426

MY Export

5336

5336

4241

4241

3900

3500

TY Export

5807

5807

3735

3738

3900

3500

Feed and Residual

9200

9200

8900

8900

9000

9200

FSI Consumption

4900

4900

4700

4700

4700

4700

Total Consumption

14100

14100

13600

13600

13700

13900

Ending Stocks

1533

1533

836

836

786

1026

Total Distribution

20969

20969

18677

18677

18386

18426


Corn

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Market Begin Year

Oct 2014

Oct 2015

Oct 2016

Russia

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

2596

2596

2671

2671

2800

2800

Beginning Stocks

290

290

348

348

169

169

Production

11325

11325

13168

13168

15500

14500

MY Imports

46

46

44

44

50

50

TY Imports

46

46

44

44

50

50

TY Imp. from U.S.

1

1

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

11661

11661

13560

13560

15719

14719

MY Exports

3213

3213

4691

4691

5300

5300

TY Exports

3213

3213

4691

4691

5300

5300

Feed and Residual

7200

7200

7800

7800

8700

8100

FSI Consumption

900

900

900

900

900

900

Total Consumption

8100

8100

8700

8700

9600

9000

Ending Stocks

348

348

169

169

819

419

Total Distribution

11661

11661

13560

13560

15719

14719

Rye

Market Begin Year

Russia

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Jul 2014

Jul 2015

Jul 2016

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

1853

1853

1249

1249

1250

1245

Beginning Stocks

344

344

264

264

130

130

Production

3279

3279

2084

2084

2540

2540

MY Imports

5

5

5

5

5

5

TY Imports

5

5

5

5

5

5

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

3628

3628

2353

2353

2675

2675

MY Exports

114

114

48

48

25

50

TY Exports

121

121

23

23

25

50

Feed and Residual

550

550

225

225

150

300

FSI Consumption

2700

2700

1950

1950

2100

2100

Total Consumption

3250

3250

2175

2175

2250

2400

Ending Stocks

264

264

130

130

400

225

Total Distribution

3628

3628

2353

2353

2675

2675

Rice, Milled

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Market Begin Year

Russia

July 2014

July2015

July 2016

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

196

196

199

199

203

203

Beginning Stocks

84

84

101

101

113

93

Milled Production

682

682

722

722

700

725

Rough Production

1049

1049

1111

1111

1077

1115

Milling Rate (.9999)

6500

6500

6500

6500

6500

6500

MY Imports

228

228

200

200

190

200

TY Imports

228

228

200

200

190

200

TY Imp. from U.S.

1

1

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

994

994

1023

1023

1003

1018

MY Exports

163

163

170

190

170

180

TY Exports

163

163

170

190

170

180

Consumption and Residual

730

730

740

740

750

750

Ending Stocks

101

101

113

93

83

88

Total Distribution

994

994

1023

1023

1003

1018

Oats

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Market Begin YearJul 2014Jul 2015Jul 2016
Russia

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested3077

3077

2829

2829

2750

2740

Beginning Stocks

230

230

289

289

199

199

Production

5267

5267

4527

4527

4750

4745

MY Imports

1

1

2

2

0

0

TY Imports

1

1

4

4

0

0

TY Import from US

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

5498

5498

4818

4818

4949

4944

MY Exports

9

9

19

19

10

10

TY Exports

14

14

16

16

10

10

Feed and Residual

3700

3700

3000

3000

3050

3050

FSI Consumption

1500

1500

1600

1600

1600

1600

Total Consumption

5200

5200

4600

4600

4650

4650

Ending Stocks

289

289

199

199

289

284

Total Distribution

5498

5498

4818

4818

4949

4944

Millet

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

Market Begin Year

Russia

July 2014

July 2015

July 2016

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

USDA Official

New Post

Area Harvested

397

397

440

440

405

405

Beginning Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

Production

489

489

565

565

625

625

MY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Imp. from U.S.

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Supply

489

489

565

565

625

625

MY Exports

0

0

0

0

0

0

TY Exports

0

0

0

0

0

0

Feed and Residual

225

225

320

320

375

350

FSI Consumption

264

264

245

245

250

275

Total Consumption

489

489

565

565

625

625

Ending Stocks

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total Distribution

489

489

565

565

625

625