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US to double soybean export to Russia from 2014

The United States, the world’s largest soybean exporter, will be able to double soybean shipments to Russia if congress cancels the Jackson-Vanik amendment, this is according to both Russian and US experts.

In the 2011-12 marketing year, the US shipped 30,000 tonnes of soybeans and 25,000 tonnes of soybean meal to Russia.

The Senate may consider legislation changes, within the next week or two, allowing US exporters normal trade relations with Russia. If the changes go through, exports may double, said Danny Murphy, first vice president of the American Soybean Association.

As part of WTO, Russia agreed to eliminate its import duty on soymeal in 2014 from 5%, Tamara Pashchenko, deputy managing director of Russia’s Oil and Fats Union in Moscow, said yesterday. The Oil and Fats Union members account for 85% of vegetable oil production in Russia. There is no import duty on soybeans, she said.

“Russia’s soybean market is expanding because of a growing consumption by livestock farms,” Dmitry Rylko, general director of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, said by phone from St. Petersburg yesterday.

However, he also said that growth of internal production could hamper the development of US exports.

Russia is importing soybeans mostly from Brazil and Argentina, where prices are lower than in the US, Rylko said. Russia’s soybean and soymeal production is increasing “aggressively” and will start competing with imports soon, he said. “Our US colleagues may find it not so easy to penetrate the Russian market given these factors,” Rylko added.

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