Russian Grain exporters Form Union under State Supervision

Trading companies RIF, Aston, the Russian grain office of Glencore, and a subsidiary of United Grain Co. have signed a memorandum creating the Russian Union of Grain Exporters (UGC), Kommersant reports.

“Its creation will help to improve the coordination of grain exporters among themselves and with government authorities,” the founders said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the creation of the new grain exporters’ union, which was first announced in February, signals a sign of tightening control by Russian officials of grain exports.

Eduard Zernin, deputy chief executive of the UGC, has been named executive director of the new association, media reports said.

In late February, Russia’s Agriculture Ministry dismissed media reports that it had set quotas on exports for traders, adding that it forecasts grains exports to reach 42 million tons in 2018-19.

Analysts and traders said on Wednesday that favorable weather during spring grain sowing in Black Sea producers Russia and Ukraine is increasing the chances of another large grain harvest due to healthy levels of soil moisture.

Russia, a major global wheat exporter to North Africa and the Middle East, is so far on track to harvest a grain crop of 118-129 million tons, according to official and local analysts’ estimates, up from 113 million tons in 2018.