Zero Duty Policy for Wheat Exports Extended in Russia

The Russian government announced on Monday that it is extending the term of zero duties on wheat exports until July 1, 2021, World Grain reports.

The zero wheat export policy was introduced in Russia three years ago.

According to a decree posted on the official government website: “The decision will facilitate the export of produce of the agro-industrial sector.”

Russia’s Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev said in June there were no reasons to abolish the zero-duty rate on wheat exports while the situation on the market was stable.

In 2016, Russia became the global leader in wheat exports. The country’s share of the global wheat market has quadrupled since the early 2000s. Overall, Russian agricultural production surged by 20% over the past five years.

Forecasting agencies IKAR and SovEkon both revised their estimates for this year’s crop downward, which means Russia may lose its title as the world’s largest grain exporter to Ukraine.

IKAR lowered its wheat export outlook by 500,000 tons to 36.5 million tons, and total grain exports by 1.4 million tons to 46 million tons. SovEkon revised wheat and total grain export outlooks down by 600,000 and 500,000 tons to 37.6 million and 48.9 million tons, respectively.

Still, total wheat exports are expected to surpass the 34.2 million tons exported in 2018. Total wheat harvest for 2019 is estimated at 80 million tons by IKAR and 82.2 million tons by SovEkon, compared to 72 million tons in 2018.

However, Ukraine could surpass Russia in exports as it is on track to export 49 million tons of grain this season.