Bread sent from Siberia

The Ministry of Agriculture ordered private companies to save the harvest.
Sharp in this season, the problem of exporting an unprecedented crop of grain can be solved only by command and administrative methods outside the market mechanisms. The Ministry of Agriculture simply ordered the order of a number of companies, including private ones, to buy and export grain from Siberia. Lawyers assure that officials had no right to give "Soviet-type orders". However, the manual regime proved to be effective: loading sharply increased, including for export.

"Kommersant" got acquainted with the protocol of the meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture held on November 13 in Novosibirsk under the chairmanship of the first deputy minister Dzhambulat Hatuov. It was devoted to the situation in the grain market of Siberia.

In particular, the Ministry of Agriculture instructed the United Grain Company (OZK, performs the functions of the state agent for grain interventions) until December 1 to act as the operator for the purchase of 200,000 tons of grain in the Novosibirsk region, Zerno-Trade LLC for purchase in the Omsk region in the amount agreed upon with the region, and Rusagrotrans - to ensure the supply of wagons and grain trucks for the export of an additional 90-100 thousand tons of grain per month. The assignment to private companies is not given in the form of a recommendation, as is customary in such cases, but imperatively.

In the OZK clarified that the grain of the fourth class will be bought at 6.2 thousand rubles. per ton for export through Novorossiysk. Now the company is preparing for the execution of the assignment - an implementation mechanism is being developed, the parameters of the transactions are discussed, an agreement is being made with transport companies, Russian Railways and regulators.

According to the estimates of the director of Sovecon, Andrei Sizov, fourth-class wheat in Siberia is traded at 5-5.5 thousand rubles each. per ton. "The price offered by the OC looks attractive at the moment, but in a few months, which will go to purchase, the premium to the market may be reduced: prices in Siberia have already stabilized and will grow. If the OC will buy grain for 6.2 thousand rubles. per tonne without restrictions, this will additionally support the market, "he notes. In OZK ready to purchase up to 250 thousand tons of grain, that is, in general, spend up to 1.55 billion rubles.

Grain-trading declined to comment, Rusagrotrans was only informed that it was aware of the results of the meeting. The Ministry of Agriculture did not explain why the ministry considers it possible to dispose of the work of private companies in the grain market. "There is only one company to which officials can give such instructions - OZK," emphasizes a source familiar with the course of the meeting. "She has grain, ports and wagons, in 2015, 1,500 grain carriers were procured for a state account similar cases. But to the question of Roszheldor, whether these cars will be provided, the official who conducted the meeting answered evasively. Why he does not give intelligible instructions under the chain of command, it is not clear. "

"Naturally, the authorities do not have the authority to give mandatory instructions to private companies on the regulation of the federal executive bodies or on the regulations of the Ministry of Agriculture: the law allows giving instructions and instructions only to accountable agencies and services," explains the head of the "commercial disputes and arbitration proceedings" "Rustam Kurmaev and Partners" Stanislav Dobeshevich. Moreover, he adds, for companies with predominant state ownership, when ownership is exercised by the government through the Federal Property Management Agency, key decisions are made at the level of the government, not the ministry.

"Most likely, in this situation we are talking about a certain combination of a form of government that is habitual for the state with economic interests of the participants to receive the corresponding contracts and support from the state, which leads to similar" assignments "of the Soviet type," Mr. Dobeshevich believes.

Lawyer of the practice of "Legal and tax support" of "NEO Center" Alexander Kireev agrees that the Ministry of Agriculture has no right to issue binding instructions to private legal entities and individuals. "In this case, the ministry can only recommend private individuals to take certain actions in the grain market," says the lawyer. "In addition, issues may arise in the FAS in connection with restricting competition in the grain market." In the service, "Kommersant" said that they will comment on the situation following the meeting scheduled for today.

Meanwhile, the problem of exporting grain from Siberia is being resolved, albeit in a manual mode, Kommersant sources note. As explained in the JSC Railways, from October 1 to June 30, 2018, a 10.3% discount was introduced to the tariff for grain exports, including from the Omsk and Novosibirsk regions. In November, the average daily loading of grain in the Siberian Federal District is 8.1 thousand tons - 35% more than in October and 76.1% more than in September, the monopoly explains. For export in November, an average of 2.4 thousand tons per day is sent, more than twice as much as in September.

The turnover of grain trucks has been reduced almost twofold: from 14 days in August to seven days in October, RZD said, the schedule of combined trains has been optimized, and thanks to the development of local technical conditions for loading, "it has been possible to expand the practice of using for transportation of grain-covered wagons and containers". At the same time, the "Kommersant" source in the industry tells us that in October only Rusagrotrans transported 69.1 thousand tons of grain and other agricultural cargo from Siberia. In November the loading will increase: 103 thousand tons are planned, the company sent to Siberia an additional 1 thousand cars.

According to the Government of the Novosibirsk region, the shipment of grain from the region in November increased almost threefold. From 9 to 16 November an average of 1.6 thousand tons were shipped daily, in the same period of October - 650.8 tons. Minister of Agriculture of the region Vasily Pronkin said that the plan of grain shipment for November - 45 thousand tons. According to him, from September 1 to November 17 for export from the region 20,1 thousand tons of grain were sent, against 1,2 thousand tons a year earlier.