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8 Apr, 2008 01:07

Moscow exchange begins crop trading

Russia can become one of the world's top three grain exporters, according to the country’s Agricultural Minister Aleksey Gordeev. The claim comes as the Moscow Stock Exchange begins regular trading of agricultural products.

The list of traded commodities range from soft wheat and barley to rye and sunflower seeds. It may later include meat and dairy products.

Rising prices combined with poor harvests have attracted speculators as well as investors. Governments, including Russia’s, have responded by slapping higher duties on exports – to keep grain in the country to try to hold down prices.
Even though Belarus and Kazakhstan are part of a Customs Union with Russia, the government imposed export duties on barley and wheat at 30% and 40% – now extended until July.

In response, Kazakhstan may ban grain exports completely to protect the domestic market.