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15 Mar, 2022 13:11

Russia temporarily halts grain exports

Restrictions cover shipments to post-Soviet states
Russia temporarily halts grain exports

Russia has temporarily banned grain exports to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) to protect the domestic food market amid mounting pressure from Ukraine-related sanctions on the country’s economy.

According to a decree signed late on Monday by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Russia will not export wheat, rye, barley and maize to neighboring EAEU states until June 30. These states include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and share a free customs zone with Russia, with supplies to the union not subject to Russia's grain export quotas and taxes.

However, according to Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko, the export of grain within the quota under individual licenses would not be banned.

The decree also prohibits the export of white and raw sugar to third countries until August 31.

The ban is a necessary measure “to protect the domestic food market in the face of external constraints,” a government statement said.

The world's largest wheat exporter, Russia, has seen its foreign sales plunge by nearly a third since the beginning of the 2021-2022 agricultural year (July 1, 2021) to March 10, due to a poor harvest, the Ministry of Agriculture said on Monday. The country’s overall grain exports also dropped, with barley deliveries dwindling by 34.7% to 2.9 million tons, and corn shipments falling by 21.7% to 1.8 million tons.

Global grain prices have been on the rise due to supply shortages and amid concerns over future supply issues related to the crisis in Ukraine, which, combined with Russia, accounts for about 30% of global wheat exports. Analysts have been voicing concerns that the current situation may lead to a full-blown global food crisis.

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