Overall, grain exports have totaled 31.5 million tons since the beginning of the season till the middle of January, fixing a 28.8 percent year-on-year growth, according to Federal Customs Service’s figures, which omit data related to mutual trade between the members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

Sales of barley more than doubled over the indicated period and totaled 3.7 million tons, while exports of corn soared 21.4 percent to 1.2 million tons.

Russia sold some 41.7 million tons of grain in the last agricultural season that ended on June 30, including 33.2 million tons of wheat. The Russian Ministry of Agriculture expects the grain exports to total 45 million tons, including 35 million tons of wheat in the current season.

In October, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said that the country’s grain exports may reach 50 million tons.

Earlier this week, the Rusagrotrans analytical center published a less optimistic outlook, saying that the current season may result in a sharp decrease of Russia’s wheat exports. The plunge is expected due to high domestic prices along with looming exports limits and export tax for certain grains, including wheat, rye, barley, and corn.

The measure will come into force on February 15 and remain in effect till the end of the season.

According to Igor Pavensky, director of the strategic marketing department at Rusagrotrans, exports of wheat may drop twofold against the previous month as early as February. The analyst expects the exports of grain to amount to 3.5 million tons in January, including three million tons of wheat.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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