Exporters collect grain // Ten companies provided almost 70% of all supplies abroad

Grain exports to the Russian Federation continue to consolidate. According to the results of the agricultural season ended in June, the share of the ten largest companies in supplies increased from 64% to more than 69%, 33.2 million tons. Trading House Rif retained its leadership in terms of volumes, and the second place Aston overtook Mirogroup Resources. In the new season, experts expect the emergence of large exporters among agricultural producers.

The ten largest exporters exported 33.2 million tons of grain last season, accounting for 69.45% of all supplies. These are preliminary results of the Rusagrotrans analytical center, excluding shipments outside the EAEU. The first place in the rating, as in the previous season, was taken by Petr Khodykin’s Rif Trading House, having exported 7.9 million tons of grain. Vadim Vikulov’s Aston moved up to the second place, having exported 5.7 million tons of grain. This allowed the holding to overtake Mirogroup Resources (part of Demetra-Holding of VTB Group, Marathon Group of Alexander Vinokurov and Sergey Zakharov and Agronovs of Taimuraz Bolloev) with 5 million tons, which corresponds to the third place. Glencore (agribusiness operates under the Viterra brand) and the United Grain Company (UGC), which exported 3.3 million and 3.1 million tons of grain, respectively, retained the fourth and fifth lines of the rating.

Rif’s CEO Marina Turyanskaya expects the company’s total export figures to be higher. Demetra-Holding said that during the season, supplies of Mirogroup Resources increased by 35% compared to the previous period, and the company “confidently takes” first place in exports through specialized terminals of deep-water ports in southern Russia. The growth in indicators there is explained by the optimization of operating activities and the expansion of presence in the main grain-producing regions. Aston and OZK did not provide a comment.

The head of the analytical center “Rusagrotrans” Igor Pavensky explains the result of “Aston” by the increase in the volume of road transshipment through the port of Kavkaz by 34%, to 12.56 million tons. However, he continues, shipments also increased in the small ports of the Azov-Black Sea basin, in Novorossiysk, Taman and the Baltic, and the total preliminary export result – 47.8 million tons – is the second after the record 2017/18 season, when 52 were exported. 8 million tons excluding the EAEU. Dmitry Rylko, General Director of the Institute for Agrarian Market Studies, adds that the first two companies in the rating today occupy about 80% of the total road transshipment of grain in Russia, and the rest working in this direction – the remaining 20%, although for several years the ratio was reversed.

The share of the ten largest companies in exports increased over the year: in the previous season, they accounted for about 64% of all shipments. According to Mr. Rylko, the consolidation of exports by the largest companies is largely due to a sharp increase in shipments of the top three. But, he emphasizes, the figures do not take into account the export of pulses and supplies to Kazakhstan, and completely different players are engaged in this business. The director of Sovecon, Andrey Sizov, notes that it seems easier for large traders to cope with the new conditions: a grain export quota on a historical basis and a variable floating duty every week. But, he reminds, less competition for grain – less profit for agricultural producers.

Igor Pavensky does not expect new companies in the five largest grain exporters in the new season. According to his forecasts, new exporters may appear among large grain producers – “in conditions of duties, own grain allows better risk management and calculation of export efficiency.” Mr. Sizov does not exclude that any of the existing large exporters can seriously increase their positions if one of the new terminals in the Baltic is completed, the projects of which are designed for 5-6 million tons of grain per year. Traders are often involved in such projects as a strategic investor to guarantee the loading of terminals, he points out.

The representative of Demetra-Holding notes that the grain harvest in the new season can reach about 132 million tons, and exports – 51-52 million tons, which will increase supplies abroad in the new season. According to Ms. Turyanskaya, the new season will be difficult, but Rif also hopes for a good harvest.

Anatoly Kostyrev

The largest exporters of grain from Russia in the 2020/21 season

A place Exporter Volume (million tons)
one TD “Rif” 7.9
2 Aston 5.7
3 “Mirogroup” five
four Viterra 3.3
five OZK 3.1
6 Cargill 2.2
7 Louis Dreyfus 1.8
eight GK AST 1.7
nine “Grain-trade” 1.6
10 “Artis-Agro” 0.9
Total: 47.8

Source: preliminary data of the analytical center “Rusagrotrans”.

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