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Russia limits grain exports to avoid domestic price spikes amid global coronavirus crisis

Russia limits grain exports to avoid domestic price spikes amid global coronavirus crisis
The world’s top wheat exporter, Russia, has capped grain shipments until July as the government quota to secure the domestic market amid the coronavirus crisis has been reached. However, shipments of current orders will continue.

Moscow introduced export limits for certain grains, including wheat, rye, barley, and corn, saying that the supplies should not exceed 7 million tons. While it was earlier expected that the cap will not be reached till mid-May, on Sunday, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that the quota was “fully exhausted,” effectively cutting off further supplies.

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However, the restrictions do not apply for members of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, meaning that Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan are free to continue exports.

“After exporting all grain declared under the quota, the export of wheat, meslin, rye, barley, and corn to non-member states of the Eurasian Economic Union will be suspended until July 1, 2020,” the ministry said.

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While the statement did not mention the Covid-19 outbreak, the ministry earlier said that the measure is necessary to provide the domestic food market with essential supplies. In a bid to avoid a spike in food prices, the government also introduced so-called grain interventions, which stipulate sales from a special fund.

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