Grain exports from Russia will exceed 47mn tonnes in 2019-2020 agricultural season, the head of the Russian Grain Union Arcady Zlochevsky estimated on September 20, as cited by Reuters.
Exports activity is seen as bleak by RGU, although the union assumes it could pick up in the second half of 2019 due to deflation of domestic grain prices. The union estimates that the grain harvest in 2019 will amount to 121mn tonnes.
Russia is now earning some $20bn a year from grain exports – more than it earns from arms exports. Combined exports of agricultural products grew 20% to $25.9bn in 2018, almost twice as much as exports of arms and weapons.
The Agriculture Ministry said in July that Russia's grain crop may rise as high as 150.3mn metric tons by 2035 in an "optimistic scenario" according to a draft strategy that includes investing billions of dollars into the sector, for grain infrastructure and logistics.
The 2035 strategy will cost more than RUB4.4 trillion ($70bn) and draw on private investors, loans and government financing, the ministry said in a statement.
At the same time president Vladimir Putin said last year he wants to see Russia’s grain exports to top $45bn by 2024. Russia would produce 140mn metric tons of grain annually by 2035 in the draft strategy's base-case scenario, while exporting 55.9mn metric tons, the ministry said.
In an optimistic scenario, the crop could rise to 150.3mn metric tons with exports totalling 63.6mn metric tons, it said.