Russia may lose its title of world’s biggest grain exporter to Ukraine this year. Agricultural forecasting agencies IKAR and SovEkon downgraded Russia’s wheat export outlooks due to partial droughts for the 2019-2020 marketing season that kicks off on July 1, Reuters reported on June 20.
IKAR downgraded the wheat exports outlook by 0.5mn tonnes to 36.5mn tonnes and total grain exports by 1.4mn tonnes to 46mn tonnes. SovEkon revised wheat and total grain export outlooks down by 0.6mn and 0.5mn tonnes to 37.6mn and 48.9mn tonnes, respectively.
Even with the downwards revision, wheat exports would notably expand from 34.2mn tonnes exported in 2018. Total wheat harvest in 2019 is expected at 80mn and 82.2mn tonnes by IKAR and SovEkon, respectively, versus the harvest of 72mn tonnes in 2018.
As reported by bne IntelliNews, Russia remains on track to remain one of world's biggest grain exporters, but the downgrade could mean that this year Russia will be overtaken by Ukraine for the title of the world’s biggest grain exporter. Ukraine is currently on track to export 49mn tonnes of grain this season.
The Russian government has been pouring money into developing agriculture and it is also among the leaders in exports of fish and sunflower oil. It is now a net exporter of poultry and self sufficient in pork and is making headway in covering its own needs in beef.