* Russia to face milling wheat, rye deficit -lobby
* German rye exports to Russia tiny in the past-trader
* Kazakhstan to have 2-3 mln T grain free for Russia -AgMin
By Polina Devitt and Robin Paxton
MOSCOW/ALMATY, Nov 6 Russia's miller's union
said it has asked the government to ease conditions for
importing wheat from Kazakhstan and rye from Germany this spring
to cover a shortage after drought slashed grain crops.
Russia, historically the world's number three global
exporter, was hit by hot and dry weather this year, which
slashed its wheat harvest by third. Its exportable surplus has
already been exhausted.
"It would be appropriate to think in advance about creating
attractive conditions for milling wheat imports to Russia
(mainly from Kazakhstan) and for rye imports from Germany, which
has a good harvest this year," the union said in a letter to
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who oversees the farm
Russia has just completed its harvest, and millers are not
currently experiencing a deficit. But milling wheat and rye are
likely to run short this spring, the lobby said in the letter,
published on its website www.sojuzmuka.ru.
It did not provide specific proposals on the easing of grain
imports, nor did it specify how much grain the country might
import this season.
In good harvest years, such as 2011/12, Russia imports about
1 million tonnes of grain a year, mainly wheat from Kazakhstan
for its border regions in the Urals and Siberia, as well as some
top quality milling wheat that Russia cannot supply.
In the current 2012/13 marketing season, which started on
July 1, Russia may import 2 million tonnes of grain, the chief
executive of SovEcon agricultural analysts, Andrei Sizov, told
Reuters on Tuesday.
GERMAN AND KAZAKHSTAN SURPLUS
Germany is the EU's largest producer of rye, with a harvest
of about 3.7 million tonnes in 2012 against 2.5 million tonnes
in 2011, according to farm ministry figures.
"Exports of German rye to Russia have taken place in the
past but have been tiny or non-existent in the past couple of
years when Russia had a good crop. This would be excellent
export news and may be another illustration of how tight Russian
supplies are," a German trader said.
Yevgeny Aman, executive secretary at Kazakhstan's
Agriculture Ministry, said Russian buyers were currently unable
to compete with relatively high domestic prices for Kazakh
"Kazakh grain is not yet passable in Russia," Aman said by
"Russia has its own volumes but these will dwindle as they
are located closer to the sea and will be exported. We may get
to the point where Russia, Siberian regions in particular, will
feel the need for our wheat."
According to SovEcon, Russia's 2012/13 grain exports will
reach around 12 million tonnes by the end of November, which
exceeds the official estimate of 10 million tonnes for this
year's exportable grain surplus.
In an indication of how tight Russian supplies are, Russia
has been conducting market interventions to cool prices but with
Traders have speculated for months that Russia may restrict
exports, as it did in 2010, but Russian officials have said they
will oppose any ban on grain exports.
The millers union sees no need to limit grain export,
because high domestic prices have already made exports less
attractive, it added in the letter.
Grain exports from Russia's Novorossiisk port are expected
to be flat in November versus October, SovEcon said in a note,
citing data from firm Transagent. The port is expected to ship
667,000 tonnes of grain, including 536,000 tonnes of wheat in
Aman said that Kazakh wheat was trading on the domestic
market within a range of 42,000 to 45,000 tenge per tonne
($278.50-$298.37) at the elevator.
Russia's average domestic EXW (ex-silo) prices for
third-grade wheat rose 75 roubles to 9,975 roubles ($310) per
tonne last week, which was a new record level in rouble terms.
"Perhaps, when prices level out and the business in Russia
feels it can pay the same high prices we do, they will use
Kazakh wheat," Aman said.
Kazakhstan was also affected by drought this year, which
slashed its grain harvest to 13 million tonnes by clean weight,
but thanks to carryover stocks the country will maintain exports
at around 8 million tonnes in the marketing year to June 30,
2013, the ministry has said.
Aman said Kazakhstan's traditional export markets in Central
Asia and Afghanistan would demand 5 million to 6 million tonnes
of grain this season, leaving 2 million to 3 million free for
"This could go to the Russian market or into our carryover
stocks," he said. "Some of our grain is also going to the Black
Sea. I know businessmen are selling a little wheat to Europe,
plus we have our traditional links with Azerbaijan, Georgia and
($1 = 31.6675 Russian roubles)
($1 = 150.82 tenge)
(With reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg; editing by Jane