The Russian Agriculture Ministry announced that it was suspending its export of most grains until July 1. The ministry said the Russian cutoff affected shipments of wheat, corn, rye, barley and meslin.
Russia, the world’s largest wheat exporter, is suspending grain exports, including wheat, rye, barley and corn until July 1, the ministry of agriculture said. In early April, the government introduced export quotas for certain grains until the end of June but these were “fully exhausted” by 26th April, the ministry said in a statement.
The Russian government approved seven-million-ton caps on exports of certain crops in April. The restrictions, intended to secure the domestic food market, apply to such essential crops as wheat and maslin, rye, barley and corn. Moscow said its quotas were introduced to ensure the stability of the national market.
“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 Russian ministry said. The Eurasian Economic Union groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. In the agricultural year 2018-2019, Russia exported more than 35 million tons of wheat and 43.3 million tons of all grains.
Global bodies, including the World Trade Organization and the World Health Organisation have warned countries against imposing export restrictions that could interrupt the global food supply chain as the coronavirus pandemic causes massive economic upheaval.
As Russia is the leading global exporter of wheat, the restrictions imposed by the country amid the coronavirus crisis caused concerns. However, analysts stress that there is no reason to worry until the end of May, when the actual shipments reach the introduced limits, and even after that the market is not expected to face any major shortages.
Speaking to Miller Magazine, “It was expected that Russian stocks would be very low at the end of the 2019/20 campaign and that Russian exports in the last months of the campaign should have to decrease. This is exactly what is currently happening and which leads, in particular, to record exports from other countries of which the EU (34 Mt compared to only 32 Mt for common wheat in 2018/19). Even if all global supplies have to be mobilized, there is no supply problem at present.” said Andree Defois, President of Tallage and Managing Editor of Stratégie Grains.