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Russia Forms State-Led Grain Exporters Union

Top grain traders in Russia have agreed to the formation of a new grain exporters union led by a state-run company, strengthening the government’s control over agricultural exports.

Russia’s agriculture ministry has conducted meetings with the country’s largest exporters since September of last year, concluding in February that the formation of such a union would provide better understanding of the market.

The state-led United Grain Company (UGC) will head up the body, which will be called the Russian Union of Grain Exporters, and membership will be key for grain exporters that wish to continue to attend meetings with the ministry. Discussion were said to have begun between the ministry and traders regarding plans for the 2019/2020 marketing season. Founding members include Russian firm RIF, the local grain offices of Glencore, Aston, and a subsidiary of UGC.

The plan also plays into President Vladimir Putin’s plans to increase the value of the country’s agricultural exports to $45 billion by 2024 - a task that has been placed on the agriculture ministry. The value of Russia’s agricultural exports totaled $26 billion last year, including $10 billion in grain exports.

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