Russia Wants to Remain World’s Biggest Grain Wheat Exporter: Minister

Russia plans to retain the position of the biggest global wheat exporter, press service of the Agriculture Ministry said on Friday with reference to minister Dmitry Patrushev, according to TASS.

“Russia will continue boosting food trade both with Saudi Arabia and other priority markets in the future, due to which we particularly plan to retain the position of the biggest global wheat exporter,” the minister said.

Russia supplied the first batch of wheat to Saudi Arabia in early April, which Patrushev believes has become an important step in development of trade relations between the two countries.

“Last year’s talks at the level of heads of agriculture agencies became a breakthrough in that direction allowing expansion of the cooperation potential as we managed to open the market of one of the biggest Middle Eastern wheat consumers for domestic exporters,” Patrushev said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) earlier downgraded Russia’s wheat export outlook for this agriculture year (from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) to 33.5 million tons from 35 million tons.

The downgrade is connected with low supply rates and quotas on export of certain grain crops set by the Russian government that will expire at the end of June. The Russian Agriculture Ministry projects grain export of 45 million tons, with 36 million tons of wheat.