VTB Sets Sights on Global Grain Expansion

Russian state-controlled VTB bank, which has been expanding its grain business, plans to enter grain markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia to increase Russian grain exports, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

VTB has a stated goal of wanting to create a vertically integrated player in the grain market. In August, it bought Russian grain trader Mirogroup, the fourth largest grain exporter from Russia’s deep port waters of the Black and Azov Seas.

Vitaly Sergeichuk, deputy head of VTB’s client relations department in market regions, told Reuters the goal of VTB’s grain project is to gain significant market share in Russia and abroad.

Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, has shipped 8.7 million tonnes of grain to foreign markets in the current grain marketing year, which began on July 1, including 7.3 million tonnes of wheat.

Earlier this year, VTB announced that it was considering buying a stake in Taman Port grain terminal and that it was buying a controlling interest in RTC Group, a Russian railway holding company that transports large amounts of grain.

It also has purchased the Novorossiysk Grain Terminal and shares in the Novorossiysk Kombinat Khleboproduktov terminal and United Grain Company.