The "Steppe" showed exports

Agroholding wants to enter the top five grain suppliers.
The rapid development of Russian grain exports stimulates players to more actively engage in this direction. Agroholding Steppe, which is part of AFK Sistema Vladimir Yevtushenkov, intends to increase grain shipments nearly fivefold to 2.1 million tons by July 2019, and one year later to join the five largest exporters. This season will be difficult: the harvest is less, and the profitability of exports is lower, traders warn.

About plans "Steppe" for the development of grain exports "b" told the general director of the agricultural holding company Andrei Neduzhko. According to him, in the previous season "Steppe" shipped 457 thousand tons of grain, including 60 thousand tons of products purchased from third-party manufacturers. This season (to be completed on June 30, 2019), the holding plans to increase exports to 2.1 million tons. The share of grain purchased from third-party suppliers should come to about 1.4 million tons, Mr. Neduzhko estimated. According to him, the main share in the structure of supplies will be for wheat. "Steppe" also plans to supply barley, peas, chickpeas, flax. "We expect that by 2020 the agroholding will be among the five largest grain exporters in Russia," says the top manager. According to his forecasts, in the next season, the volume of shipments of the "Steppe" should grow to 3.5 million tons, of which 2.5 million tons will be accounted for by external grain, and 1 million tons by its own.

39.7 million tons

- so much will be exported grain from Russia in the current agricultural year, according to the forecast of the International Grains Council

"Steppe" (part of AFK "System" Vladimir Yevtushenkov) is engaged in plant growing, horticulture, vegetable growing and dairy cattle breeding. Assets are concentrated in the Krasnodar and Stavropol regions, the Rostov region and Karachaevo-Cherkessia. The land bank at the end of 2017 amounted to 380 thousand hectares. In the first quarter of 2018, the revenue of "Steppe" increased more than twofold, to 2.53 billion rubles. year to year.

According to Andrei Neduzhko, Steppe signed a long-term contract for grain transportation with Rusagrotrans and agreed to transfer Novorossiysk grain terminal (NCSP group) and KSK (DeloPorts) to the port of Novorossiysk. Companies that do not have guaranteed access to infrastructure facilities, primarily to port transshipment, leave the market, and exporters with their own logistics chain are replacing them, explains Stepy, the general director. Representatives of Rusagrotrans, NCSP and DeloPorts did not provide comments.

Trading in world markets "Steppe" leads through the Swiss Steppe Trading SA created in June 2018. According to Andrei Neduzhko, the company ships products on FOB terms through the Azov seaports and the deep water ports of Novorossiysk. The main markets are Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and Asia. Among the buyers are the Swiss trader Glencore and the American Bunge. There they declined to comment. Expenditures for the development of grain exports in the "Steppe" are not disclosed. The source of Kommersant, close to the holding, says that in the previous season, the revenue from exports was about 5 billion rubles, and according to the results of the season 2019-2020 the figure should grow at least seven times.

According to the estimates of Igor Pavensky, head of the analytical center of Rusagrotrans, during the first two months of the season Steppe can export about 315,000 tons, which will bring the holding to the top ten exporters. With such a pace, he notes, plans to ship more than 2 million tons by the end of the season look feasible. The result will allow "Steppe" to approach the top five leading Russian exporters or even enter it already at the end of June 2019, Mr. Pavensky believes. From July 1 to August 22 this year, Russia increased grain exports by 42%, to 7.8 million tons year on year, the Ministry of Agriculture reported.

But the current season is not the best for entering the market, says a large exporter: the yield is expected to be 20% lower than last year, and the volume of exports will be less. "Traders also work with a lower profitability. Agrarians adhere to grain in the expectation of further devaluation of the ruble and the growth of domestic prices, so you can buy quality wheat only with a premium to the market, "he says. According to the Prozerno index for August 17, wheat of the third class is traded at 11.83 thousand rubles. per ton. A year earlier the index was at the level of 9.22 thousand rubles. per ton. The advantage of "Steppe" is the availability of its own large-scale agricultural production, notes Igor Pavensky: this reduces the holding's dependence on fluctuations in grain prices in the domestic market. In 2017 Steppe, according to its own data, collected a record 1.4 million tons of grain.