Russia, Ukraine cornering the grain export market?

The announcement that Russia is to abolish it's grain export duties from today certainly seems to further indicate that whatever export business is kicking around Europe, North Africa, The Middle East & Pakistan is likely to be eagerly mopped up by Russia & the Ukraine.

With a domestic grain harvest of 85mmt expected this season, Russia is anticipated to have 15mmt available for export.

In the Ukraine, where the harvest has just started, they are expecting a 40mmt harvest, around half will be wheat, 9 million tons barley and 9 million tons corn (plus 2mmt "other grains").

Including the grain left over from the previous marketing year, the ministry expects that 46 million tons of grain will be on offer on the Ukrainian market in the 2008-09 marketing year, with domestic demand for milling grain expected at 7.2 million tons and feed grain 14.3 million tons. That leaves a monster 17.5mmt surplus.

Allowing for a bit of carryover exports are expected to rise to between 13.5 million and 14 million metric tons in the 12 months starting July 1, compared with 3.7 million tons this year, according to Agriculture Minister Yuriy Melnyk.

The UK seems to be hanging it's export hat on Spain to take the bulk of our exportable surplus in 2008-09. One report recently suggested that the UK may treble exports there to 3mmt in the coming season. With crops like this kicking around I don't think we will be the only Spanish suitor.