Russia considers setting grain export quota at 25.5m mt from February

19 Oct 2022 | Masha Belikova

Despite earlier talk of cancelling export quotas for grains, Russia is now considering to set the quota at 25.5 million mt from February until the end of the season, Russian media said Wednesday, quoting agriculture minister Dmitriy Patrushev.

The quota, which would be valid from February 15 to June 30, includes a separate 500,000 mt for export from Far East regions alone, the minister said.

No details were given for individual commodities such as wheat, barley, and corn within the overall quota, but the amount suggests that the move will not have a significant effect on the market as last year's grain quota of 11 million mt was not fully used. 

The decision is not yet final as it still needs to be approved by the government. 

The reported new quota is twice that set last year and is in line with a proposal made by Eduard Zernin of the Russian Union of Grain Exporters last week.

Minister Patrushev also said that he saw no need for changes to Russia's export tax, as this is a self-regulating mechanism that changes depending on market conditions.

The move comes as Russia has harvested a record high grain crop this year, with wheat production alone already reaching 104 million mt with 2.5% of the planted areas still to be threshed, while total grain output is expected to reach up to 150 million mt.

At the same time, Russia's export pace is slower than last year, partly amid sanctions introduced by the West and related issues the country has faced since invading neighboring Ukraine in February, although in recent months exports have started to improve and the lag behind last year has decreased.

Russia has only managed to export 14.3 million mt of grains since the start of the marketing year in July to October 18, including 11.8 million mt of wheat, an 11% drop year-on-year.